2 arrests made in W.E. Willis grocery kidnapping, shooting

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GREENVILLE Co., S.C. (WSPA) – Two arrests have been made in the brutal attack on W.E. Willis Grocery store owner and his wife. 

Greenville County deputies say the suspects are among five masked men who bound and tortured the couple before ransacking the victims’ home on September 25. 

Mark Alan Wright, 49, of Travelers Rest is charged with:

-2 counts of kidnapping
-arson 3rd degree
-criminal conspiracy
-2 counts of armed robbery
-possession of weapon during violent crime
-attempted murder
-assault and battery-1st degree
-burglary -1st degree

Jack Foreman, 38, of West Palm Beach, FL is charged with:

-grand larceny greater than $10k
-2 counts of armed robbery
-assault and battery-1st degree
-burglary -1st degree
-arson 3rd degree
-attempted murder
-criminal conspiracy
-possession of weapon during violent crime

On Sept. 25, five masked men ambushed Warren Willis as he left the store. Deputies say Mr. Willis was bound with zip ties, kidnapped and taken to his home on Sweetgum Road. 

Greenville County Sheriff Johnny Mack Brown said Wright, Foreman and others who not been identified, drove to the store in a truck stolen by Foreman.

Deputies say Foreman stole the truck from Budget Tire Company on Poinsett Highway on Sept. 18.

The suspects parked the stolen truck on Howard Drive and walked half a mile to the business and waited for Warren Willis to exit the store.

When Willis walked out, the suspects brutally attacked him – binding him with zip ties and loading him into the backseat of Willis’ car, according to the sheriff.

Mr. Willis was taken to his home where deputies say the suspects also bound Mr. Willis’ wife.

The suspects beat the couple for 30 to 40 minutes.

Mrs. Willis was shot and stabbed following the torture, deputies say. 

The suspects left in Willis’ vehicle after ransacking the couple’s home and stealing cash. 

The sheriff says there is a $50,000 reward for the arrest and conviction of the those responsible.

Anyone with information about this case is asked to call Crime Stoppers of Greenville at 23-CRIME.

The Greenville County Sheriff’s Office is asking for the public’s help in identifying the people pictured in the surveillance photos taken from a camera outside of W.E. Willis Grocery on Sept. 25.

W.E. Willis Grocery suspects


W.E. Willis Grocery suspects

Chandra Willis-Kasa, the daughter of the victims said the following about the arrests:

Their last name isn’t a familiar name, a family name is travelers rest  area. So we’re puzzled by that part and especially why Forman came all the way from palm beach Florida to specially do this crime against my parents. Our prayer and faith has grown so strong throughout this tragedy and if there’s anything positive out of it, it has been the power and prayer and such kindness from everyone around us.
 

On Thursday night, Willis-Kasa released the following statement on her mother’s status:

“… your prayers are the most amazing I’ve ever experienced. Please keep them coming, I truly believe Mom can fully recover! Pray for God’s hands on the medical team. 

My family extends such appreciation & admiration for such a caring & brilliant investigation team! We are so thankful for Sheriff Brown & his team. We believe & have such confidence that the remainder of arrests will be made soon. We continue to pray for the law enforcers’ safety. 

My family feels relieved at the arrests, but still quite puzzled as to why we were targeted, the horrific violence that occurred, & how this group knew so much about us. 

Please continue to pray for the men arrested today Mark Wright & James Foremen. Pray for their salvation. Pray that they will disclose all details & names involved to investigators with ease within the coming days. 

Pray for the three men that are not identified & any others that maybe involved. Pray for their guidance to find Jesus.

My family continues to be amazed at the power of prayer from family & friends! We’ve never experienced such specific praying & God’s results of it. Please continue to pray for our strength, security, & emotional healing. We are beyond blessed to have such amazing people like each of you in our lives.

Specifically pray for Dad & I as we want to follow God’s ultimate plan to make this harmful act good through Jesus.

W.E. are Strong!

SLED BACKGROUND CHECK ON MARK ALAN WRIGHT

08/25/2012

SC0230000 GREENVILLE CNTY SO
CASE-271256
ATN-23D700018361
WARR-2012A2330201607
CIT-44-53-370(D)(2)-MISDEMEANOR

ARREST CHARGE -POSS OTHER
CONTROLLED SUB IN SCHED I
TO V-1ST
OFFENSE DATE-08/25/2012

08/25/2012

CIT-44-53-370(B)(2)-FELONY
DOC-12GS2309636
WARR-2012A2330201607

COURT CHARGE 01-MANUFT,POSSES
S OTHER SUB SCH I,II,III WITD-1ST

COURT DISP-NON-CONVICTION; DISM/NOL PROS/PROS ENDED COURT DATE – 04/13/2017
ATN-23D700018361

08/01/2017

SC0230600 TRAVELERS REST PD
CASE-17-10183
ATN-23D600006905
WARR-2017A2320100172
CIT-16-03-0655(C)-FELONY

ARREST CHARGE -CSC WITH MINOR
3RD,LEWD ACT VICTIM<16
ACTOR>14
OFFENSE DATE-07/10/2017

08/01/2017

CIT-16-03-0655(C)-FELONYDOC-18GS2306962

WARR-2017A2320100172

COURT CHARGE 01-CSC WITH MINOR 3RD,LEWD ACT VICTIM < 16 ACTOR > 14

COURT DISP-CONVICTED; 2 yrs bal sus 2 yrs prob

COURT DATE-10/08/2018
ATN-23D600006905

10/08/2018

SC023015GGREENVILLE PPP 10/08/2018 CUSTODY STATUS-PROBATION
CASE-SC0230
CIT-16-3-600(C)(2)-FELONY

COURT CHARGE 01-ASSAULT AND BATTERY 1ST DEGREE

COURT DISP-CONVICTED; 2YRS SS
W/ 2YRS PROBATION
ATN-23P000515571

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