‘Killed over a truck’: How Florida ‘massacre’ suspect, victim knew each other

National News

FROSTPROOF, Fla. (WFLA) — Jessica Steenson listened as Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd listed a detailed timeline of events he says led to a “massacre” of three close friends on a nighttime fishing trip in Frostproof, Florida, on Friday night.

Steenson’s boyfriend, Brandon Rollins, 27, was one of the victims. Judd said Tony “TJ” Wiggins murdered Rollins, Keven Springfield, 30, and Damion Tillman, 23, in an apparent dispute over a truck engine.

“I’m pissed that my boyfriend was killed over a truck,” said Steenson.

Wiggins, 26, has 230 felony criminal charges in his arrest history, Judd said.

Steenson said at the scene of the killings that Judd shook her hand and made a promise to her.

“That he will not stop until justice is served for them three boys — my boyfriend and his two best friends,” she said. “I moved here from Jacksonville, Florida, for him two years ago and this is not how it was supposed to be, and I want justice for him. And I will not stop until he gets it.”

At 10:56 p.m. Friday night, Rollins’ father received a phone call from his son pleading for help. When his father drove to the lake where he knew his son would be fishing, he found his son and two friends shot to death.

Judd said just 10 minutes prior to that phone call, Tillman was at a nearby Dollar General store getting supplies for the fishing trip. Behind Tillman in line, Judd said, was TJ Wiggins. Also in the store were Robert Wiggins and Mary Wittemore.

The Wiggins brothers and Whittemore left the Dollar General after Tillman and got in their car. Robert Wiggins, whom Judd said has been most cooperative with police, told detectives his brother told him to “go to the lake” as he pulled away from the store.

Near the lake, the Wiggins brothers and Whittemore pulled up behind two trucks that had stopped with their windows down to talk, Judd said. Tillman was inside one truck, while Rollins and Springfield were in the other.

Judd said TJ Wiggins got out of the vehicle, ran up to their trucks and asked, “Where’s Keven?” He found Springfield in the truck with Rollins and allegedly pointed the gun at him demanding, “Where’s my truck? You stole the engine out of my truck!”

TJ Wiggins shot Brandon Rollins and Keven Springfield nine to 10 times with his handgun, Judd said, then turned to Tillman, shooting him several times.

Judd said the three suspects then got back in their car and drove to an undisclosed location, where they stripped down the gun, took it apart and threw it away. They then went to a McDonald’s, where Robert Wiggins said his brother told them, “We weren’t there.”

Rollins’ mother says she’s known TJ Wiggins since he was a child.

“I worked at the school, many, many years when those kids were very young, and I know them personally. I know their mom, their dad. I know the whole history, I know it all,” said Dottie Payton, who says Wiggins was known to have a rough reputation.

“He was always a rough kid. He was always in trouble,” said Payton.

The Polk County Sheriff’s Office says they are collecting donations for the victims’ families to help pay for funeral expenses, a spokesperson for the Sheriff’s Office says.

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