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Two masked men shoot man

A homeowner was injured Saturday night after two armed men broke into his house, took money and jewelry and shot him as they fled, officers said.

Escambia County Sheriff’s officials continue to investigate the shooting on Atmosphere Road, and two suspects remain at large.

Escambia County Chief Deputy Mike Lambert said the incident was reported at about 7:15 Saturday night.

“This appears to be a home invasion situation,” Lambert said. “Two black males in masks apparently forced themselves into the home. They brandished firearms and demanded money and jewelry from the residents.”

Steven Wayne Simmons, 49, and Jennifer Sampley, 54, were at the home at the time of the invasion.

“The gunmen demanded money and jewelry from the couple,” Lambert said. “The couple complied with their demands by giving them what they had. After they had gotten the items, three shots were fired by the gunmen at the victims.”

Lambert said two shots struck Simmons and injured him.

“One of the shots hit him in the upper portion of his leg in the thigh area and a second shot hit in the lower part of his leg,” Lambert said.

Members of the Atmore Police Department and Poarch Police Department assisted at the scene, and Simmons was Lifeflighted to Baptist Hospital in Pensacola, Fla.

“Due to the nature of the shot and where it struck him in the upper thigh, it was simply a precaution to make sure the shot didn’t strike a main artery,” Lambert said.

No additional information on Simmons’ condition was available as of press time Tuesday.

Lambert said officers began a search for the two suspects in the incident with help from local police departments and a team of tracking dogs.

“The dogs began to track at the scene and tracked for a short distance before the scent went cold,” Lambert said. “At that point it was apparent that a vehicle had been parked by the road. We believe the suspects got into the waiting vehicle and left the scene.”

Lambert said an investigation is continuing.

“We do have information on someone we believe to be one of the suspects in this case,” he said. “An arrest may be made shortly.”

Anyone with information concerning the incident or possible suspects in the case is asked to contact members of the Escambia County Sheriff’s Department, Atmore Police Department or Poarch Police Department.