Suspect charged in Eastern Passage drive-by shooting is brother of accused killer

Rae'heem Downey of Halifax has been charged with first-degree murder in the death of Jamie Lee Bishop, who was shot on June 18 in Eastern Passage.

Rae’heem Downey of Halifax charged with 1st-degree murder in June 18 shooting in Eastern Passage

Rae'heem Downey, 20, is shown being escorted from Dartmouth provincial court Thursday. (Craig Paisley/CBC)

The 20-year-old man now charged with first-degree murder in an Eastern Passage drive-by shooting in June is the brother of Markel Jason Downey, who is accused of murder in a 2014 home invasion in Cole Harbour.

Rae'heem Downey was arrested Wednesday morning without incident and charged in the death of Jamie Lee Bishop, who was gunned down June 18 while walking with a woman on Hornes Road.

Rae'heem Downey was arraigned Thursday morning in Dartmouth provincial court on charges of first-degree murder and two counts of breach of probation by failing to keep the peace and be of good behaviour.

Jamie Lee Bishop, shown in this photo, was shot to death on June 18. (Submitted)

His lawyer, Pat MacEwen, said Downey has been remanded. The defence will gather information from the Crown, but MacEwen said it's too early to know if Downey will apply for bail.

"He's been charged with first-degree murder," MacEwen said. "He's certainly not [doing] great, but he's aware of what's going on and he's prepared to deal with these matters."

His brother, Markel Jason Downey, is facing a first-degree murder charge in the death of Ashley MacLean Kearse, who died four years after she was paralyzed in a triple shooting and home invasion.

Last year, he was found not guilty of 28 charges related to the shooting on Nov. 30, 2014. But that acquittal was overturned on appeal and a new trial ordered.

When Kearse died last month from injuries the Nova Scotia Medical Examiner's office determined were due to the shooting, Markel Jason Downey was charged with first-degree murder. His retrial is scheduled for next year.

Markel Jason Downey is seen leaving Nova Scotia Supreme Court in Halifax last year. (CBC)

Rae'heem Downey will return to court on Sept. 5, when MacEwan said it is likely they will set dates for a preliminary inquiry.

Crown attorney Erica Koresawa said outside court that the Crown will be opposing bail for Rae'heem Downey. 

"This is one of the most serious offences for which a person can be charged," she said.

No other charges are being considered at this time, she said.

The two counts of breach of probation are related to earlier matters and were still in effect when the shooting took place, she said.

At approximately 12:45 a.m. on June 18, Bishop, 21, who had recently moved to Eastern Passage from Lunenburg County, was walking with a woman on Hornes Road when he was gunned down by someone in a passing car.

He was taken to hospital where he later died.

The Downey brothers were both accomplished amateur boxers in Nova Scotia.

Jason Downey won a gold medal at the 2011 Canada Games held in Halifax. Rae'heem Downey won a silver medal in the Canadian junior ranks in 2012.

Read more stories at CBC Nova Scotia