Man arrested in shooting of Loomis-Fargo truck driver at Altamonte Springs Publix
Lil Burtie Willis, 23, charged with attempted felony murder
ALTAMONTE SPRINGS, Fla. – Police arrested a man Tuesday after a Loomis-Fargo truck driver was shot in the head and robbed at an Altamonte Springs Publix last week.
Police said Lil Burtie Willis, 23, ambushed, robbed and shot Marcos A. Rivera, 25, at the Publix on State Road 436 at Palm Springs Drive.
"I'm very happy to say that this armed and dangerous individual is off the streets in a short amount of time," said Officer Rob Pelton.
Lil Burtie Willis didn't say much in court Wednesday afternoon after receiving no bond.
Marcos Rivera's wife, Maribel Rivera, told News 6 that he's still recovering after being shot in the back of the head. His family set up a GoFundMe page for his recovery. She said her husband broke down in tears when he heard Willis was arrested.
"He was very happy," she said. "When we heard the news, he broke down and he was so happy. God has given me peace with the fact that he's going to jail and I hope and pray he realizes what he did, to not only a man, a worker, but this affected our whole family. I wouldn't wish this on him or anyone else's family."
Willis was initially arrested on a possession charge Friday and released on bond. Police said after investigating all the evidence, they realized Willis was tied to the shooting and a manhunt began. He was arrested in connection with the shooting Tuesday night.
In his arrest report filed Friday, Altamonte police say they tracked Willis down to an apartment complex in Pine Hills. There, they approached him and noticed the shoes he was carrying, his facial hair and a white cellphone held moments before the shooting, matched the suspect in the surveillance video.
"The one thing that it came down to was our detectives," Pelton said. "They received some information as far as the evidence and forensics from the crime scene that were able to link Mr. Willis to this case," Pelton said.
"(I) honestly hope that he thinks about what he did and that he regrets what he did," Maribel Rivera said.
Police said there's still more work ahead to identify a getaway driver.
"Our attention now turns to who his accomplices (were)," Pelton said. "Is it one driver or multiple people involved this case? We will continue until we close it out knowing all the players involved."
Willis is charged with attempted felony murder, robbery with a firearm and aggravated battery.
Willis' older brother Lil Kirk was also in court, facing grand theft charges for stealing a car. As of now, police say Lil Kirk is a suspect in the stolen car case, but they have not linked him to the Publix shooting.
Rivera, who is a father to a 2-year-old boy, remains listed in serious but stable condition.
Click here to donate Rivera's recovery fund.
[VIDEO: Witness posts to Instagram, courtesy internationaldigg]
Stay with News 6 and ClickOrlando.com for updates on this developing story.
Copyright 2015 by ClickOrlando.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.