DENVER — Police responded early Friday evening to a shooting near the new Boys and Girls Club in Denver’s Park Hill neighborhood.
Denver Police confirmed that shots were fired in the 3300 block of Holly Street just after 6 p.m. Friday. When officers arrived, they found a male victim in the parking lot who appeared to be suffering from multiple gunshot wounds.
The victim was taken to Denver Health where he remains in critical condition.
Denver police arrested Terrance Roberts, 37, as a suspect in the shooting. The reported anti-gang community activist opened fire at the Unity Rally he was sponsoring Friday night.
Roberts is being held at the Denver jail for investigation of first degree assault and attempted murder.
Roberts appeared in court at 10a.m. Saturday, where he was seen mouthing to his mother in the courtroom, “I’ll be o.k., it’s going to be o.k.”
Shareef Aleem, who is a community activist said people who know Roberts are shocked by the shooting and his arrest.
“It’s absolutely heartbreaking. In the community I’ve been getting calls since late last night, and early this morning. People are devastated,” Aleem said.
“That man has given a lot of his blood, sweat and tears to rebuild this community and it’s just shocking to me that all of that would disappear in an instant.”
Alvertis Simmons, a civil rights activist, said he believes gangs had something to do with what happened Friday night, and that unemployment in the black community helps allow this kind of violence to occur.
“Give those young people a job and they will have some responsibility and then they will stop the violence,” Simmons said. “The violence will go down if you give them a job and a contract and an opportunity.”
John Arigoni, president and CEO of the Boys and Girls Clubs of Metro Denver released the following statement Saturday:
I would like to express heartfelt condolences on behalf of Boys & Girls Clubs to the families who were affected, and to the surrounding community. We are deeply saddened by this tragedy, and remain committed to the important work that has been established by the Holly Area Redevelopment Program. We will continue to move forward in partnership with the many organizations in the Northeast Park Hill community to help redevelop the area. Boys & Girls Clubs will remain a safe haven for local kids and teens.
Arigoni said the The Jack A. Vickers Boys & Girls Club will reopen Tuesday with normal club hours. The grand opening celebration will take place on October 1.