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Shooting victim IDs alleged assailant in Monessen attack

| Friday, Aug. 2, 2013, 12:56 a.m.

MONESSEN – Police have identified a second gunman in the shooting last month of a city man.

Rufus Raymond Poindexter, 28, last known address of 6932 Kelly St., Pittsburgh, is wanted on two counts of attempted homicide and single counts of aggravated assault, possession of an illegal firearm and reckless endangerment.

Monessen police said Poindexter, whose street name is “Diesel,” along with Derrick Courtney Jones, allegedly shot Brian Simpson of Monessen several times in the chest 11:16 p.m. July 6 at 637 Summit Ave.

Both Jones and Poindexter are from the Homewood section of Pittsburgh and are considered gang members, according to Monessen Police Chief John Mandarino.

They are being sought by law enforcement officials, including a U.S. Marshall Task Force.

A third suspect, identified only as “Black,” was with Jones and Poindexter at the time of the shooting, according to an affidavit of probable cause filed by Monessen police Lt. James Smith.

Through witnesses, Smith was able on Sunday to identify Poindexter as the man called “Diesel.”

Poindexter had been dating a Monessen woman, who had been with him during previous arrests, according to the affidavit.

Police said Simpson on Monday picked Poindexter out of a photo lineup, identifying him as the alleged shooter, “Diesel.”

Simpson, who had been listed in critical condition at Allegheny General Hospital in Pittsburgh after the shooting, was not in the hospital's patient directory Thursday, according to a spokeswoman.

Mandarino said Pittsburgh police have found a light green Ford Explorer used as the getaway vehicle outside the Pittsburgh residence of Jones' mother. Police impounded the vehicle and reportedly found several revolvers, a shotgun, bulletproof vest and a bag filled with .45 caliber magazines, he said.

Jodi Lynn Cook, 35, of Monessen, is facing attempted murder and other charges for the shooting. She allegedly set up Simpson over drug money purportedly owed to the three Homewood men.

Police also allege Cook allowed the three suspects into a Luce Avenue residence to sell drugs prior to the shooting.

Her preliminary hearing is scheduled 9:30 a.m. Aug. 16 before Magisterial District Judge Joseph Dalfonso.

She remained in Westmoreland County Prison in lieu of $50,000 cash bond Thursday night.

Rick Bruni Jr. is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at rbruni@tribweb.com or 724-684-2635.

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