Father of money carrier shot at Publix speaks

The father of a Loomis armored truck employee is speaking out, after the suspect who allegedly shot his son is arrested.  "We are happy this guy is off the streets and people are safe now," said Marcos Rivera Sr., relieved that 23-year-old Lil Burtie Willis is behind bars.  "It was joyful. We all cried. We were very happy, not only for us but because you have a criminal off the streets. Nobody else has to fear for their life."

Marcos says his son Marcos Jr., called him from the ambulance right after he was shot six days ago. "We didn't believe it, but when we got to the hospital, we were like wow this is real."  Police say the 34-year-old Loomis employee was carrying money out of the Altamonte Springs Publix at Palm Springs Crossing, when Willis shot him in the entrance way and then ran off with the money bag.

Marco says several shots were fired at his son. "He got shot through the upper left and knocked some teeth, his jaw and some tissue in the back of his neck. The bullet is still there."

Marcos says his son has a wife and two year old baby to support. He's concerned they won't be able to pay the mortgage on a new home, that's why he created a fund to help as he recovers.  "We don't know how long the family could sustain and keep him on his feet. We're hoping he recovers quickly."  He explained how it was a strange turn of events that landed his son inside the store.  "He's the driver, but the courier for that week was on vacation."  He says he would like to see changes to make it safer for those who are hired to carry money. "Hope some changes will be done in that field because anyone can just go up and hurt them."  

Meanwhile, Marcos is grateful to all the responders that helped. He says it's a miracle his son is alive today, adding, "I definitely think God was on his side. It is kind of a miracle because most people that get shot in the face pass away. So I have to count my blessing because I have my son with me."

To donate to Marcos Rivera Jr, visit his GoFundMe account page