Midwest City Man Wants Some Answers

Jones Mourns Shooting Death of His 12-Year-Old Son

MIDWEST CITY–A grieving Midwest City father said he wants answers after his son’s death.

Roy Jones recalled the day his son walked away.

In the late afternoon of Sept. 28, Mr. Jones had only been back in town for three days, following a trip to Missouri for an uncle’s funeral.

It wasn’t uncommon for his 12-year-old boy, Roland Jones, to roam around the neighborhood, the father recalled last week.

That late September day, Mr. Jones watched the boy, with $80 of early birthday money in his pocket, leave the house and walk south.

“He stopped at that tree,” the grieving father said.   “He stopped at the stop sign.  He stopped at the pole.  He went up the street. 

“That’s the last time I saw him.”

But, around 9:30 p.m., two days later, a little more than a mile north of the Jones home, a gunshot rang out near a breezeway at the Sand Hills Apartment Complex, 1424 N. Midwest Blvd.

After the gunshot, several male juveniles scattered.

Roland Jones lay bleeding on the sidewalk from a bullet wound to his chest.

Bystanders rendered emergency aid. 

The 12-year-old boy was taken to the University of Oklahoma Medical Center.

That was where he was pronounced dead.

The juvenile witnesses to the shooting said Roland Jones arrived at the apartment complex and showed off a pistol and some marijuana, according to an arrest affidavit.

One of the juvenile boys asked to see the gun, the police report said.

Roland Jones ejected the magazine from the gun and saw that it was empty, according to the police report.

As he put the magazine back into the gun, the gun fired, striking Roland Jones in the chest as he stood a foot away, the police report went on.

During a prayer vigil Thursday night, Chief Brandon Clabes announced that a 16-year-old suspect turned himself in. 

That suspect faces a first-degree manslaughter complaint.

Chief Clabes said his department has seen an increase in calls about accidents involving young people as the virus pandemic continues.

“It’s a tragedy,” he told news reporters.   

“We’re seeing kids out of school.  With the pandemic, there’s no structure.”

Roy Jones said he moved to Midwest City from East St. Louis to get Roland Jones away from street violence.

“We moved here to get away from the exact same thing we’re dealing with here,” the dead boy’s father said.

Roland Jones was one of eight children He was a sixth-grade student at Rogers Middle School and attended Divine Wisdom Worship Center.

At church, the boy had a crush on a girl who happened to live nearby, the father said. 

Roy Jones offered his son $20 once to go knock on her door and talk to her. 

But the boy was too shy, the father remembered. And liked superhero movies and boxing.

The dead boy was a fan of the Oklahoma City Thunder, and liked superhero movies and boxing, the father told reporters.

From age 6, the father said the boy trained at Sims Boxing Academy in Spencer.

“He was a bright young man, energetic, always kept a smile,” said the dead boy’s boxing coach, Lavell Sims.   “He did everything he was asked to do, and taught younger kids what he knew. It’s a shame.   I can’t believe he’s gone.”

In recent weeks, the 12-year-old started leaving the house, his father said. 

The last time he left home, Mr. Jones filed a runaway report with Midwest City police. 

The boy would have turned 13 on Oct. 20.

But that was not to be.

It was on Sept. 30, while watching the Lakers play The Heat, the boy’s family got the news that Roland Jones had been shot.

“I feel a little better,” Mr. Jones said.  “It just hits me.  It’s been a long three weeks.”

These are some of the questions the grieving father wants answered:

  • In whose house did his son stay while gone from his home?
  • How did he get the gun?
  • Why was the gun pointed at his son?

Why did it take so long for the suspect and his family to come forward?

“You should charge the adults,” Mr. Jones said.  “Sitting around and acting like they didn’t know? Come on. Somebody’s not telling the truth.  Somebody’s withholding information.”

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