2 Brothers and Girlfriend Arrested in Connection with Fla. Fishing-Trip ‘Massacre’ of 3 Friends

Two brothers and one of their girlfriends have been arrested in the deaths of three friends who were fatally beaten and shot as they met up to fish at a lake near Frostproof, Florida, over the weekend.

On Wednesday, Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd announced the arrests of 26-year-old Tony “TJ” Wiggins; William “Robert” Wiggins; and Mary Whittemore in the deaths of Damion Tillman, 23; Keven Springfield, 30; and Brandon Rollins, 27.

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Tony “TJ” Wiggins is facing charges of first-degree murder, tampering with evidence, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, and possession of ammunition by a convicted felon.

William “Robert” Wiggins
Polk County Sheriff’s Department

Robert Wiggins is facing tampering with evidence and accessory after the fact of capital felony charges.

Tony Wiggins’ girlfriend, Mary Whittemore, is facing a charge of accessory after the fact of a capital felony.

The sheriff’s office said Tillman, Springfield and Rollins headed out to Lake Streety on July 17 to go “night fishing” when they were attacked.

“What is more wholesome than going fishing on Friday night with your friends?” Judd tells PEOPLE. “No drugs, no alcohol. Just out fishing with your buddies. What should be safer? To get massacred — it is horrible.”

Tony “TJ” Wiggins
Polk County Sheriff’s Department

“It would be like having a triple murder in the middle of the church,” Judd adds. “This is a small, quaint, beautiful community with almost no crime rate. It shook Frostproof to its very core.”

Rollins initially survived the attack and was able to call his father for help. Rollins’ father quickly arrived at the scene to help his son, but he forgot his cell phone, so he drove to a nearby convenience store and had the clerk call authorities.

By the time authorities arrived at the crime scene, Tillman, Springfield, and Rollins were all dead.

The Sheriff’s office said that during a search of the crime scene, they found a Dollar General bag and receipt dated for the night of the murders. Investigators also looked through the store’s video surveillance and saw Tillman in the shop.

Mary Whittemore
Polk County Sheriff’s Department

“Before Damion [Tillman] shows up, he decides to buy a Mountain Dew,” says Judd. “He goes into the store and as he is standing in line to leave, TJ walks up behind him. Behind him is his brother Robert, and Mary is also in the store. TJ and Damion are having a conversation and it is not animated at all.”

Judd says Tillman at one point told the store clerk he was going fishing with Springfield at Lake Streety.

“TJ heads out and gets in a car with Robert and Mary and … tells Robert to follow him,” Judd alleges. “The three suspects [were] in the store with one of the three victims 10 minutes before the shooting.”

RELATED: 3 Friends ‘Massacred’ During Florida Fishing Trip, Sheriff Says: ‘This Is a Horrific Scene’

According to the sheriff, the suspects then followed the truck to Frostproof, where Tillman met his friends.

Judd says TJ got out of his vehicle and ran up to Tillman, but was actually looking for Springfield, who was sitting with Rollins in a truck.

TJ then allegedly confronted Springfield in the vehicle, punching him and accusing him of selling the engine out of his truck.

“[Springfield] says ‘I don’t know what you are talking about….I don’t know anything about your truck,’” says Judd. “TJ starts shooting into the truck where Keven and Brandon are sitting —  nine or 10 times, point-blank. He then spins around and shoots Damion in his truck several more times.”

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The sheriff’s office served a search warrant on TJ’s travel trailer on July 20 and allegedly found ammunition that matched the shell casings found at the scene. Also found at the trailer were two SKS rifles and two Mossberg shotguns.

The sheriff’s office also claims to have video surveillance showing Whittemore purchasing the ammunition for TJ on July 9.

Judd said that after the murders, the suspects went to McDonald’s and ordered 10 double cheeseburgers and two McChicken sandwiches.

“This is how evil they are,” says Judd. “It didn’t even phase them.”

The three suspects are currently being held without bond. They have not yet been indicted.

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