'Person of interest' says reputation damaged by release of photo

- After Tampa Police released photos of "persons of interest" related to a deadly shooting at Club Rayne, one of the men identified was upset his photograph was circulated online, without explanation from law enforcement.

Jaquone Penny, 19, was pictured on surveillance video running out of the strip club early last Saturday morning when a man opened fire on the crowd, killing two people and injuring six others.

Penny's mother spotted the image from the surveillance video in a news story on Facebook.

"I jumped up and asked him, 'is this you on this picture?'" said LaTanya Welch.

Penny called Crimestoppers to identify himself as soon as he became aware police were looking for him, according to Welch. Crimestoppers transferred him to Detective Gary Price, who questioned him about the men he was seen talking to on surveillance video.

"He never asked him about a shooting or nothing," said Welch. "He said, 'I want to know all the guys that you were standing around.'"

Tampa Police said identifying someone as a "person of interest" is not the same as calling someone a "suspect."

"We do this every day. We put out pictures, we put out video trying to identify people who may know information, or people who are suspects in crimes," said Andrea Davis, spokesperson for the Tampa Police Department. "We would like to clear their names, and if they were not part of these crimes, we want to know about it."

Despite hundreds of people being inside the club at the time, no one has come forward to identify the shooter.

"It's very frustrating, especially when you are talking to the victim's family and telling them that you're doing everything you can to solve this crime," said Davis.

However, Welch said she fears by circulating her son's picture, he could be viewed as a murderer in the public eye.

"Don't address my son's picture on social media just because you need to know who he is with, to tell on somebody," said Welch.

During her son's conversation with police, he told the detective he did not know the names of all the men with him at the club. Police claim some of Penny's statements during the phone conversation contradict what was seen on surveillance cameras.

By the end of the phone call, Penny said he would contact a lawyer, prompting police to end communication.

Before releasing Penny's picture on Thursday, police released another man's photo as a person of interest on Tuesday.

That man was quickly identified and spoke with detectives. He has neither been charged nor cleared of a crime.

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