PORT SALERNO, Fla. - A 32-year-old Port Salerno man is dead and an Okeechobee man suspected of the shooting is in custody after he crashed a pickup with his two young daughters in it and law officers in pursuit.
Detectives believe the homicide began when Kiera Simmons, 30, of Okeechobee, drove to Port Salerno with her children to visit Tracy Ann Wilson and her husband, Adam Nathaniel Wilson, at their 5112 S.E. Kingfish Ave. home.
Tracy Wilson, 32, is Kiera Simmons’ cousin, said Christine Christofek, public information officer for the Martin County Sheriff’s Office.
Simmons and her husband, Randy Lee Simmons, 36, were having a domestic dispute, Christofek said.
Kiera Simmons and Tracy Wilson left the house together to go to a store. “When she and her cousin left the house they didn’t know he (Randy Simmons) was sitting outside,” Christofek said. “He apparently was outside hiding. He went inside the home, shot the victim and took the kids.”
The two women returned to the Kingfish Avenue home to find Adam Wilson shot in the head and Randy Simmons gone, along with the two children.
Deputies were called at 1:42 a.m. and arrived a few minutes later. According to the incident report, they found both woman crying and yelling for help. Deputes found Adam Wilson laying in a pool of blood on the screened rear porch. Kiera Simmons was holding the victim’s head in an attempt to help him breathe. She told deputies her daughters, ages 3 and 6, were missing and believed that their father had them.
An alert was issued for a gold Chevrolet pickup with a cow sticker on the back. A deputy on patrol at County Road 714 and Southwest Citrus Boulevard soon radioed that a vehicle with that description had passed him.
Three sheriff deputies in separate units followed the pickup. According to the incident report, they made several attempts to stop the truck, which was clocked at one point doing about 75 miles per hour.
About three miles inside Okeechobee County, as a deputy once again tried to stop the truck, the pickup skidded sideways and rolled several times. It landed upright in a roadside canal.
Law officers put a spotlight on the truck and reported seeing the suspect, later identified as Randy Simmons, climb out of a passenger-side window. Deputies from both Martin and Okeechobee counties drew pistols on Simmons, who was yelling that he was concerned for his children. They saw him pull the two girls, one at a time, from inside the truck and place them on its roof.
Martin County deputies reported Simmons then climbed into the bed of the pickup and hugged them. Deputies got the children off the truck, wrapped them in blankets and called emergency medical personnel. Other than being cold, the girls appeared uninjured.
Simmons was taken to the Okeechobee County jail. In first appearance before a judge Saturday morning, he was charged with aggravated fleeing and eluding, Christofek said, and his bond was set at $250,000.
Simmons was taken to the Martin County jail Saturday afternoon on a charge of second-degree murder.
This story will be updated as more information becomes available
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