A Florida woman was shocked to learn that her friend had been shot an killed just outside of her home by her adult son, who claims that the man attacked him late last month.
Jerry Helton, 56, was apparently busy trying to take 36-year-old Roy Jones’ life with a knife when he was shot by Jones. Jones reportedly attempted to fend off Helton with a bat before grabbing his gun, but Helton was persistent.
As USA Today’s News-Press reports:
Diane Cornelison said her son shot Helton, who was his neighbor, when Helton attacked him with gloves and a serrated knife in his Payne Lane home just before 8 p.m.
“My son was attacked by Jerry,” she said. “From what I understand, it escalated into him grabbing his gun that he had by the door and he shot Jerry.”
Efforts to reach her son, Roy Jones, were unsuccessful. Jones, 37, tried to fight Helton off with a baseball bat or get him to leave because he didn’t want to fight him, she said. Jones had been living next to Helton, her friend of 30 years, since January without incident, she said. Each occupied a separate home on the adjacent properties that Cornelison owns.
“They seemed to get along though they had their moments, you know, mouth wars like guys do,” she said. “They were actually getting along actually awesome.”…
According to Cornelison, Jones was taken into custody but has since been cleared and released. Jones is taking shelter at a relative’s house as the family has received multiple threats from neighbors in the Suncoast Estates community to whom Jerry was beloved, she said.
“Jerry (knew) a lot of people,” Cornelison said of the man friends called “Junk Jerry” and “Gypsy Jerry.” “He’s like an icon in Suncoast.”
Retaliation against folks defending their lives against deadly threats is uncommon, but it does happen. I wish I could say that there was a set amount of time Jones would have to wait until he could return safe home, but hurt people hurt people.
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