Funeral Services Held For Deputy

November 30, 2007


(Updated 11:55 a.m., Friday, Nov. 30)

Funeral services were held Friday morning for Raymond “Ray” Dewitt Simmons, an off-duty Escambia County deputy found dead early Saturday morning at behind a Walnut Hill church.

Funeral services were held at the Faith Chapel Funeral Home North on Highway 29 in Cantonment. Burial followed at Bayview Memorial Park. Visitation was held last night.

Simmons died from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound early Saturday morning in Walnut Hill at the Walnut Hill Mennonite Church at the intersection of Highway 97 and North Highway 99. The deputy’s unmarked cruiser was found parked with blue lights flashing just after 5:00 a.m. on a driveway behind a cemetery that leads from the church’s parking lot to Highway 99.

Members of the law enforcement and others are leaving their thoughts and condolences on, an online law enforcement community.”Ray was the kind of Lt. that backed up his guys/gals and fought the battles that needed to be fought,” one post on the forum says.

I’ll miss his laughter, the funny stories he would told, his compassion and insightful advice. I feel so blessed to have known him,” says another poster.

Ray Simmons was one of my best friends and the absolute best street cop I’ve ever met . He taught me the ropes and made me the cop I am today. Ray was my favorite cop and I learned something every time I watched him work,” another person wrote on the forum.

To view more comments, or to leave your own condolences, visit:

Simmons had served 14 years with the Escambia County Sheriff’s Department, and was currently serving as a lieutenant.

(Pictured above: Atmore Ambulance arrives on scene Saturday morning about 5:30. Below: The scene a few hours later as crime scene investigators work.)



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