DENVER - Denver anti-gang activist, Terrance Roberts, 37, was formally charged on Tuesday in the shooting of 22-year-old Hasan Jones, whom 9Wants to Know has learned is now paralyzed.
The Denver County District Attorney's Office says Roberts is facing charges of attempted first-degree murder, first-degree assault and possession of a firearm by a previous offender. Roberts runs The Prodigal Son Initiative, which is a nonprofit organization devoted to keeping kids out of gangs.
Police arrested Roberts on Sept. 20 after the shooting, which took place just prior to a scheduled community rally. Police say Roberts claimed Jones had a knife and was threatening him.
9Wants to Know has learned from relatives that Jones was shot 5 times, and he is paralyzed from the waist down. A relative confirmed Jones was a member of the Park Hill Bloods gang, but the relative says Jones was unarmed when he was shot. Roberts was a mentor to Jones, and they have known each other for many years.
Roberts' participation in a national show about the drug underworld may have played a factor in the shooting. He helped producers on a National Geographic Channel program called Drugs, Inc. as they researched and conducted interviews for an episode titled "Rocky Mountain High." It first aired on Sept. 15, five days prior to the shooting.
Reverend Leon Kelly is a friend and mentor to Roberts. He says Roberts received significant backlash and threats after the airing of the show, and he says Roberts was being labeled as a snitch.
"He was fearing for his life," Kelly said. "He has been fearing for his life not just on that day but on previous times as well."
9Wants to Know contacted the National Geographic Channel, but representatives have not commented about the shooting.
Roberts has a criminal record from his days as a member of the Park Hill Bloods gang. 9Wants to Know has learned Roberts faced an attempted murder charge in 2000.
Court records show the victim was reluctant to testify and Roberts received a plea deal. He was sentenced to six years in prison for being a felon in possession of a firearm.
Roberts is currently out of jail on $100,000 bond. He is scheduled to make his next court appearance on Monday.
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