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Pittsburgh cops nab alleged Monessen gunman

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Friday, Sept. 6, 2013, 12:51 a.m.

Police arrested a Homewood man Thursday who is wanted for attempted murder in the July 6 shooting of a Monessen man.

Following a short foot chase, Pittsburgh police captured Rufus Raymond Poindexter, 28. Monessen police believe he is one of two men who shot Brian Simpson several times in the chest at 637 Summit Ave., Monessen.

Simpson survived the attack.

According to Pittsburgh Zone 5 police Lt. Jason Lando, Poindexter led police on a foot chase for two blocks along North Murtland Street in the Homewood West section before he was apprehended at 2:35 p.m.

“Our detectives saw Poindexter on the street and were familiar with him through prior arrests,” Lando said.

“We were aware he had an additional warrant for his arrest out of Monessen. Officers attempted to take him in, at which point he fled.”

Lando said the officers found one bag of suspected crack cocaine and one bag of suspected marijuana in Poindexter's possession.

Poindexter was sent to the Allegheny County Jail on an outstanding warrant and will be arraigned on the new drug charges within 24 hours, Lando said.

Magisterial District Judge Joseph Dalfonso of Monessen issued an arrest warrant for Poindexter July 31 after Monessen police and other authorities identified him as the alleged shooter witnesses knew only as “Diesel.”

Simpson's other alleged shooter, Derrick Courtney Jones, remained at large Thursday.

A third suspect, identified only as “Black,” was with Jones and Poindexter at the time of the alleged shooting. Police have not yet been able to determine “Black's” identity.

Jodi Lynn Cook, 35, of Monessen faces attempted murder and other charges for the incident.

Police said Cook set up Simpson over drug money – purportedly owed to the Homewood men. Her preliminary hearing is scheduled Sept. 20 before Dalfonso.

On Aug. 28, more than 20 local police officers and members of a fugitive task force locked down the 800 block of Thompson Avenue in Donora after receiving information that Poindexter and Jones had been staying in the area.

The search proved futile.

Poindexter, whose last known address is 6932 Kelly St., Pittsburgh, pleaded guilty in May 2012 to charges of aggravated assault, possession with intent to deliver and resisting arrest in Allegheny County Common Pleas Court.

Poindexter will be arraigned by Dalfonso for the Monessen incident, although the date is not yet clear, according to Monessen police Chief John Mandarino.

“I've got to say everyone involved did an outstanding job to apprehend (Poindexter),” he said. “We will not stop pursuing the other two until they are caught.”

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

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