Mentor: York homicide victim was 'diamond in the rough'

YORK, Pa. (WHTM) - Dezmen Jones, 15, and Jameel Murray, 28, were shot and killed September 26 in York in a double homicide that shook the 600 block of West Princess Street.

Jones was an original member of the PEDAL 4 PEACE group, an organization that offers up a safe, productive outlet for kids in the inner city.

"He was always fixing his bike or working on somebody else's," said PEDAL founder, Brandt Kingsley. "Oftentimes he would come help me work on other people's bikes, I mean he was that good with bikes that sometimes I didn't know stuff. It's a big loss, it's a big loss...because he was a good kid."

Kingsley said Friday that Jones was seen as a role model in the group, and was revered among other young riders.

"He would always be the one to find a solution or find a piece on a bike that he could bend or fix or put a screw through," Kingsley said. "He never wanted somebody to be around him and be down all the time. He would kind of sense that energy, so if things were happening, he would pull people to the side and just talk to them [like] 'hey, what's going on?'..."

Police have not commented as of this story on any potential suspects or motives in Jones and Murray's deaths.

Kingsley said the two victims did not know each other and weren't hanging together when the shooting happened. He believes his young rider was in the wrong place at the wrong time.

"We can't condone these actions and glorify drug dealing and running around with guns, and selling drugs, and all this mayhem that we glorify in our culture nowadays."

A vigil in Jones' honor was held Friday evening at the intersection of West Princess and West Streets.

PEDAL 4 PEACE had previously organized a Ride Against Violence for October 6 - now, in the wake of the deadly shooting, the second annual ride will be dedicated in Jones' memory.

Click here for more information on the group.

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