Posted on September 23, 2013

Anti-Gang Activist Terrance Roberts Arrested After Shooting

CBS Denver, September 21, 2013

The man who founded an organization to keep at-risk youth out of gangs has been arrested in connection with a shooting.

Terrance Roberts was arrested Friday night after a shooting in the 3300 block of Holly Street near a new Boys and Girls Club. That club has not yet opened so no children were inside at the time.

When officers arrived at the scene a little after 6 p.m. Friday they found one male victim who appeared to be suffering from gunshot wounds. He was rushed to an area hospital and was in critical condition on Saturday morning.

Roberts, 37, is being held in the Denver jail for investigation of first-degree assault and attempted murder.

Roberts is the founder of the Prodigal Son Initiative. It’s a local nonprofit that provides at-risk children in Denver neighborhoods with an alternative to a life of crime. Before founding the organization Roberts told CBS4 that he was mixed up with the wrong crowd, was shot in the back and even spent time in jail.

The Prodigal Son Initiative’s offices are located near the old Holly Square Shopping Center that burned down nearly 5 years ago due to a gang fight. Those offices are also near where the shooting happened on Friday night.

CBS4’s Howard Nathan spoke with Roberts in jail. Roberts told Nathan he considered the man he shot, who he identified as 20-year-old Hassan Jones, a friend. He said he took Jones to a Denver Nuggets game last season but Friday night Roberts says Jones and crowd of gang members threatened him to the point where he believed he might lose his life on the basketball courts he built.


Roberts said 20 gang members commandeered the courts while he was setting up a neighborhood peace rally. He said they’ve been wrongly accusing him of working with Denver District Attorney Mitch Morrissey against them and being a snitch for the police. Feeling threatened, Roberts said he had to defend himself when he was surrounded.

“I’m ashamed, I feel remorseful, I was planning a unity rally, I wasn’t planning a shooting,” Roberts told Nathan.