Hookah lounge shooting suspect sought
SAN DIEGO — Authorities Tuesday publicly identified a second suspect wanted in connection with the shooting death last fall of a man at a Rolando-area smoking club.
Neil Edward Downey, 26, allegedly took part in the killing of 29-year- old Rodney Harmon of San Diego on Nov. 16.
Shortly after 4 a.m. that day, officers responding to a shooting at Crown Hookah Lounge, 7059 El Cajon Blvd., found Harmon at the business, suffering from gunshot wounds to the chest. He died at the scene, San Diego police Lt. Paul Rorrison said.
Last week, a county grand jury issued an indictment charging Downey with murder in Harmon’s death.
Another suspect in the case, 28-year-old Pierre Verenee Readus of San Diego, was arrested in April while already in custody for a probation violation. He has pleaded not guilty to murder and remains in county jail awaiting trial.
At Readus’ arraignment, a prosecutor told a judge that Readus had been involved in an altercation with Harmon about a month prior to the shooting and had lost the fight.
On the night of the slaying, Readus left the hookah lounge about 2:30 a.m., returned about 90 minutes later and shot Harmon four times before fleeing, Deputy District Attorney Christopher Lawson alleged.
Readus, who has a robbery conviction from 2004, faces 65 years to life in prison if convicted, Lawson said.
Police did not disclose Downey’s alleged role in the killing.
Officials asked anyone with information on the fugitive’s whereabouts to call San Diego County Crime Stoppers at (888) 580-8477. Tipsters may remain anonymous and could be eligible for a reward of up to $1,000.