DENVER - The uncle of a man allegedly shot by Denver anti-gang advocate Terrance Roberts is challenging Roberts' claim that he fired in self-defense.
Jabulani Abdalla said his 22-year-old nephew, Hasan Jones, was shot five times -- once in the back, once in the side and three times in the stomach -- during a confrontation Friday in the parking lot of the Boys and Girls Club at 33rd and Holly. Jones remains hospitalized in critical condition.
“He’s got a long road ahead of him,” Abdalla told 7NEWS. "Two of the bullets struck his heart. He's swelled up and they don't know if he's going to be paralyzed."
Abdalla said he talked to his nephew about an hour before the shooting. “I wanted to talk to him about a domestic issue with his girlfriend.”
“When I saw him, I practically jumped out of my truck and grabbed him,” Abdalla said. “Everybody was looking like what is this guy doing? They heard him call me Uncle and say ‘I love you.’ And I said, ‘I love you’ back.”
Abdalla disputes Roberts' claim that Jones threatened him with a knife.
He said he's heard from witnesses who paint an entirely different picture.
He said those witnesses told him they will soon share what they saw with police.
According to the probable cause statement, two other witnesses told investigators that Roberts shot Jones multiple times, including at least once while Jones was lying on the ground.
When asked about the conflict between his nephew and Roberts, Abdalla said Roberts felt he wasn't getting any respect.
"He was angry about being called a snitch," Abdalla said.
He said the friction between the two had to do with video taken by a film crew pointing out drug dealing in the neighborhood. He says that's when Jones called Roberts a snitch.
Abdalla said he believes that Roberts, who was once in a gang and who founded the Prodigal Son Initiative to combat gangs, never really turned his life around.
"A lot of times people can sound sweet, but at the end they ain't very sweet," the uncle said.
Asked if his nephew is a gang member, Abdalla said not necessarily, but added that Jones did “hang out.”
When asked if his nephew was involved in things that he didn't know about, Abdalla replied, "Could happen. And I feel that if he was, that was his punishment that day and that was the reason why God had allowed me to see him and make him promise (to get along with his girlfriend) and to pray over him."
7NEWS tried to contact Roberts on Tuesday, but got no response. He is free on $100,000 bond.
Roberts faces potential charges of attempted first-degree murder, assault with a deadly weapon and possession of a weapon by a previous offender.
The uncle questions why Roberts, a convicted felon, was allowed to bond out of jail.
"He should never have had a gun," Abdalla said. "I wouldn't put it past him that he don't show up (in court.)"
Police say there were many witnesses to the shooting and its aftermath, including several kids.
Denver Police Chief Robert White talked to staff at the Boys and Girls Club and to the staff at the nearby library to tell them about services available to help them cope.
When asked if the victim is also considered a suspect, Det. John White of the Denver Police Department replied, “All I can say is that the case is still under investigation.”