The “trigger man” in a Florida fishing trip massacre was apparently named by local community members, leading police to investigate and ultimately arrest him and two accomplices.
As CrimeOnline previously reported, Damion Tillman, 23, Keven Springfield, 30, and Brandon Rollins, 27, were brutally beaten and shot to death at around 10 p.m. Friday night at a secluded Frostproof, Florida, lake, in Polk County.
On Wednesday, the Polk County Sheriff’s Office announced the arrests of Tony ‘TJ’ Wiggins, 26, Mary Whittemore, 27, and Robert Wiggins, 21, in connection with the case.
According to Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd, Tony Wiggins, the one that “did the most damage,” has been in the criminal system since age 12. He has 230 felony charges against him and was out on bail when the murders occurred.
Wilkins is reportedly so well-known in the community for his criminal activities and violence that calls poured into a police tip line; callers told authorities to look into him, even though they had no previous knowledge that he may have been involved in the incident.
“He’s a thug,” the sheriff said. “He’s a criminal. He’s pure evil in the flesh. He’s wild, and he’s out of control.”
“This is a guy who can hurt you just because it’s the right thing for him to do in the moment at that time with his three brain cells.”
The incident started on Friday after the suspects spotted Damian Tillman inside a Dollar General store earlier in the evening. Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd explained during a press conference on Wednesday that Tony Wiggins was waiting in line for the cashier when he saw Tillman also waiting in line.
Tony Wiggins allegedly overheard Tillman tell the store cashier he was on his way to go fishing. Tony Wiggins then told his accomplices to drive to the secluded, nearby lake off of US98.
“It’s way out in the country, a little clay road,” Judd said. “It’s used as ingress and egress for cow pastures, orange groves, and Lake Streety. It’s a road to no place, three miles long.”
As the suspects arrived at the scene, they saw two trucks parked side by side. The victims had their windows open talking to each other while still in their trucks. Tillman sat in one truck while Springfield and Rollins sat in the other.
Tony Wiggins, according to Judd, immediately got out of his vehicle, walked toward the trucks, and asked where Springfield was.
Tony Wiggins then spotted Springfield in one of the trucks, ran toward him with a gun, and asked, “Where’s my truck?”
“You sold the engine out of my truck,” Tony Wiggins shouted, according to Judd.
Springfield reportedly told Wiggins he didn’t know anything about his truck but it didn’t matter. Wiggins shot both Springfield and Rollins. Judd said at least nine rounds were fired.
“Then he turns on Damian,” Judd said. “[He] beings to shoot Damian, who’s got his door open in his truck, several times.”
Afterward, the suspects went to McDonald’s and ordered double cheeseburgers and McChicken sandwiches.
Judd said during a press conference on Wednesday that he hopes for the death penalty for Wiggins, a man he has no interest in trying to rehabilitate.
“I’m sure somebody thinks he outta have counseling, and pretrial release. Our goal, and we pray that the state attorney can seek the death penalty, he needs to receive a fair trail … then be executed.”
Although the other two suspects did not actively participate in the shooting, they did nothing to stop it, then took great measures to cover for Tony Wiggins, Judd said.
Tony Wiggins is charged with three counts of first-degree murder, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, tampering with evidence, and possession of ammunition by a convicted felon.
Robert Wiggins is charged with tampering with evidence, accessory after the fact of a capital felony. Whittemore is charged with accessory after the fact of a capital felony.
Check back for updates.
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[Feature Photo: Mary Whittemore, Tony ‘TJ’ Wiggins, & Robert Wiggins/Police Handout]