A TikTok star’s son was shot dead the day before he was set to turn 19 — and she’s now pleading with her more than 7 million followers to help find his killer.
“Today would have been my baby child’s 19th birthday, but he was took from me last night. Took from my children and my husband and our family,” Ophelia Nichols, who posts from @shoelover99 on TikTok, said in a video Saturday. “My son was murdered. He was shot.”
Nichols’ son, Randon Lee, was fatally gunned down at a gas station Friday night in Prichard, Ala., just south of Mobile, according to local outlet WKRN.
“I ain’t never asked y’all for anything, but I need your help with this,” said Nichols, an influencer whose followers call her Mama Tot and revel in her Southern accent and the friendly dispatches she has been known to dispense from her front porch.
Nichols, speaking through tears while wearing a shirt with a rainbow heart on it, said, “There’s almost 7 million people that follow me. Somebody’s got to know something.”
Police have released few details on the killing, but Nichols said authorities have two potential leads.
The mom said she now feels a “hatred in my heart that I don’t recognize ’cause I have never felt hate for anyone.”
In text embedded in the video, she wrote, “I will not stop until my sons murderer is found and prosecuted.”
“He was just 18 years old, that’s the best part of somebody’s life,” she added to her followers through tears.
In an emotional plea, she held up a picture of her and her son to the camera and addressed the murderer: “I want you to look at my son. … This is my son, and you took him from me.”
Just before the post, Nichols, who calls her followers “tater tots,” put up a video at a beach in Alabama, enjoying the view before receiving the terrible news. She has three other children. Randon was her youngest.