Police identified 53-year-old Charles Willis as the victim of a shooting at Pizza D’ Action on West Markham in Little Rock.
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — Over the weekend, one of the several shootings in central Arkansas claimed the life of a beloved employee at Pizza D’Action on West Markham Street early Saturday morning.
Libby Corinne worked with Charles Willis for nearly a year at the restaurant.
“The world needs to know that we lost one of the brightest lights in this universe,” Corrine said.
Her heart is heavy after losing her friend. Staff said this all happened after he told a customer they couldn’t leave with their alcoholic drink.
“It is still surreal. I still expect him to walk through that door,” Corrine said.
Corrine said the 53-year-old moved from Baltimore, Maryland to Arkansas.
He was a regular customer at the bar before being hired on where he worked for nearly a year.
“He would have given his life for any one of his friends and he did that night,” Corrine said.
“It’s senseless violence, you know, innocent lives are being lost,” said Walter Cockran, director of Arkansas Stop the Violence.
Over the years, he said that’s something he’s focused on a lot.
“As a community, we have to step up and try to, we see something not right, we need to talk up and handle the problem,” Cockran said.
He started a mentorship program for kids and teens in the community that highlights finding solutions to issues of crime.
Corinne said for the Pizza D’s family, the community support allows her to stay strong.
“Be genuine to everyone that you meet and greet them with kindness because that’s what he did,” Corrine said.
People have stopped by to pay their respects and drop off flowers in front of the restaurant .
Pizza D’Action will be hosting a memorial benefit on Thursday.
All of the profits and tips will go to Willis’ family.