Investigators are saying the home was targeted, confirming a similar incident happened 14 years ago during a poker game. NewsdayTV's Shari Einhorn reports. Credit: Photo Credit: Paul Mazza; Newsday Staff

A late-night card game in Sayville Sunday night ended with a shooting after two masked gunmen broke in and robbed the 11 people there, in what Suffolk police said was a targeted crime.

Police were called to the Greenbrier Lane home just before midnight after the two men entered, both wearing masks and gloves. One of the men was carrying a handgun, Suffolk County police Det. Lt. Anthony Calandrillo said.

They held the 11 people sitting around a card table at gunpoint, demanding the players hand over their cellphones, jewelry and cash, Calandrillo said.

As the suspects were leaving the home, a 38-year-old man was arriving and was shot twice by one of the gunmen, Calandrillo said. The two men sped away in an unknown vehicle. The victim was taken to a hospital with two gunshot wounds and was expected to survive, he said.

Neither the victim nor the suspects have been identified. Police did not identify the homeowner, but said he was cooperating.

The same homeowner, who declined to comment through an intercom at the house, was targeted in 2010 when two teens robbed a poker game during a similar robbery. 

In that case, the suspects were armed with knives and a pellet gun as they entered a side door and robbed the homeowner and six people playing cards, police said at the time.

Emergency responders at the scene of a robbery and shooting...

Emergency responders at the scene of a robbery and shooting in Sayville Sunday night.  Credit: Paul Mazza

Those suspects were arrested nearby after a short foot chase. Police could not comment on specifics of the 2010 robbery because the case is now sealed.

“It was a very similar incident. There were two suspects involved. They came into the house. The proceeds were similar,” Calandrillo said.

“So we're certainly going to take a look at that incident. At this point, I can't say it's connected; we haven't looked into it that closely yet. But it is the same house, the same owner of the house — we have a similar situation as far as a card game going on in the room,” he said.

Police believe Sunday night's burglary was targeted. Detectives did not have an estimate of how much was stolen. Police had interviewed about half of the victims of the robbery Monday afternoon, Calandrillo said.

Detectives said they are still investigating the shooting and the burglary and have not yet investigated whether the card game was being legally held.

“It's too soon to comment on the card game,” he said. “That's something that we certainly have to take a look at, and it's secondary to the burglary and shooting.”

Neighbors said they were familiar with the regular card games at the home. But they said the neighborhood was quiet and safe and the homeowner and his family were friendly.

Police said a bullet had struck a neighbor's home but did not enter inside. 

Monday afternoon, a man entered the home where the robbery occurred but declined to comment.

With Shari Einhorn

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