Freddy Jones Jr. only stopped into the Yau Brothers Carryout on Halloween to get a quick dinner for himself before heading to work, where he operated a shuttle bus for Thurgood Marshall Airport. Jones had no clue that as he patiently waited for his order, talking on his cell phone, the last minutes of his life were being recorded on the surveillance video of the tiny restaurant.
Lasting less than 28 seconds, the short video clip released by police shows three suspects walk into the carryout, with two of the assailants quickly moving to corner another customer they followed into the business. As one of the masked figures reaches into Jones’ pocket for his wallet, the Army veteran immediately begins to fight back. Police have edited the video for the public, which ends as one attacker pulls out the .45-caliber handgun used to shoot Jones multiple times in the chest.
“My father would give anything and everything to help another person out. He was sincere and the best father anybody could ever have. He was an all around family man,” said Devita Jones.
Police are still looking to apprehend two of the three suspects connected to the homicide after the first mugger was walked into police headquarters on East Fayette Street by his own mother and father. Markell Shelton Jones was handed over to authorities, Nov. 3, by his parents after they recognized their 17-year-old son on the surveillance tape as the shooter. Charged with assault, first degree murder, handgun violations, and robbery, the teen refuses to assist police in their attempts to apprehend the other two individuals who assisted in the robbery that gained them a mere $13.
Crystal Jenkins-Jones, the wife of the late 52-year-old, believes the shooting death of her husband is in some way karma coming back to her family for the murder of Charles Bowman. A 72-year-old security guard for the Afro American Newspaper, Bowman was shot to death inside the Yau Brothers Carryout in April 2010 with Jenkins-Jones’ cousin, Michael Hunter, later identified and convicted as one of the two men involved in the crime which also produced only $13.
Before the shooting death of Bowman, two others lost their lives inside Yau Brothers Carryout in a triple shooting that occurred in 2009.
“Freddie was a big teddy bear, just a good heart, a gentle bear,” said Marva Williams, a close cousin of Jones.
With so much violence occurring in the Yau Brothers Carryout, neighboring business owners, local politicians, and residents living in the surrounding areas wonder how many more people have to die before the doors close for good.
“I believe the carryout should be shut down unless they can find some way to make it a safer environment for their customers. Apparently there is something about this particular store that makes people want to commit crime,” said Devita Jones, who says her father was a regular customer of the Chinese restaurant.
While some argue that the owners of Yau Brothers Carryout should not suffer because of actions they have no control over, changing the physical layout of the business or replacing part of the wooden face of the restaurant with sturdy see-through plexi glass could go a long way toward preventing the loss of another life.
Persons with information pertaining to the crime should call police at 410-396-2100, or Metro Crime Stoppers at 1-866-7LOCKUP. A cash reward of up to $2,000 will be given to anyone who provides information leading to an indictment in the case.