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Search for shooting suspects in Donora comes up empty

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Thursday, Aug. 29, 2013, 12:21 a.m.

Police and U.S. marshals locked down the 800 block of Thompson Avenue in Donora for about two hours Wednesday afternoon in an unsuccessful attempt to find two fugitives wanted for a July shooting in Monessen.

More than 20 local police officers and members of a fugitive task force began searching about 2 p.m. for Rufus Poindexter and Derrick Jones at one of three suspected residences, according to Monessen police.

Police said the pair are considered to be armed and dangerous.

Poindexter and Jones, both of Homewood, are charged in the attempted murder of a Monessen man July 6 at 637 Summit Ave. The alleged victim, Brian Simpson, is recovering from multiple gunshots to the chest.

Although the suspects were not found, Monessen police said they discovered evidence that indicated the two had been staying in Donora as recently as Tuesday.

Police said Poindexter and Jones were thought to be staying outside the Pittsburgh area.

Jodi Lynn Cook, 35, of Monessen, also faces attempted murder and other charges for the shooting. Police said Cook allegedly set up Simpson over drug money – purportedly owed to the Homewood men.

She remains in Westmoreland County Prison in lieu of $50,000 straight cash bond. Another suspect present during the shooting has not been identified. Investigators, however, claim Poindexter and Jones are the shooters.

Officers from the Charleroi Regional, Rostraver and Donora police departments assisted during Wednesday's search.

Monessen police said the department will continue to use every avenue at its disposal to apprehend the suspects.

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

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