Civil Rights Icon Speaks Out Against Crime

It has been almost two months since Roscoe Jones was shot. For the first time, he's speaking out about what happened.

Jones was shot outside his house during a failed robbery attempt on the night of Dec. 6, 2012. Police said he was shot twice after the two suspects were not able to steal his parked car.

In the wake of the shooting Jones says he has renewed inspiration to reach out to youth in Meridian.

'I feel great!', says Roscoe Jones after recovering from two gunshots he suffered at the hands of would-be thieves.

'I was hit right in the back, just about that far from my spine. It, luckily, it went in; it hit a muscle and it came back out. So, I'm blessed,' Jones said.

Jones views the attempted car theft at his house as a very visible sign of a much bigger problem.

'I was angry at first, but then I realized that we have failed these kids and we need to get back control of our young people," said Jones. 'By getting mad and getting frustrated behind it, it's not going to do any good.'

That's why Jones says he plans to pursue, with even more vigor, his efforts to expose youth in Meridian to more of the positive.

'We need to get back control of our young people and the only way that we can do that is to build up some kind of hope,' he said. 'These kids don't have hope and if you don't have hope, you'll do anything. My thing is to let's give them something to look forward to.'

Jones plans to do this by intensifying his efforts to renovate the former Council of Federated Organizations office in Meridian into a site for learning. Also, he is plans to continue spearheading educational trips for youth.

'We're going to take them to Selma, Montgomery and Birmingham and then we're going to come back and go to the Delta and go to Jackson and down on the coast and McComb,' said Jones. 'We're going to do things like that because they're supposed to be learning civil rights. The state of Mississippi says that it's supposed to be mandated now to teach civil rights. Well, we're going to teach civil rights; if the school can't do it, we can do it.'

The two suspects responsible for shooting Jones remain at large. The two are said to have been black males, who at the time, were wearing hoodies and blue jeans with their faces covered. Anyone with information that could lead to arrests in the case is asked to call Crimestoppers at 601-485-1860.