A young Colorado man who was visiting Miami with his wife and son was shot to death on a restaurant patio on Tuesday while protecting his child during a random, violent encounter.
Dustin Wakefield, 21, was on the patio of La Cerveceria on the north part of Ocean Drive — the road runs parallel to the shore along Miami Beach — with his wife, son and other relatives on Tuesday around 6:30 p.m, according to the Associated Press. That is when, the arrest report says, Miami Beach park ranger Lorenzo Trench heard shots on 14th Street and saw the man later identified as Tamarius Blair Davis Jr., 22, from Norcross, Ga., chasing and firing at another, unidentified man, according to the Miami Herald.
Davis, incorrectly identified in police reports as “David,” then took a right at the Winter Haven hotel on the corner of 14th Street and Ocean Drive, according to the Miami Herald, and fired again at the third man and missed. That man escaped.
La Cerveceria is only two buildings north of the Winter Haven. According to reports from Wakefield’s surviving family members, Davis then walked onto the patio of La Cerveceria and up to the Wakefield family, pointing his gun at Wakefield’s 1-year-old son.
According to Dustin Wakefield’s uncle Mike Wakefield, who spoke to the Miami Herald but was not present at the scene, he was told by family members that Dustin Wakefield tried to stop Davis from shooting his child.
“Dustin stood up between the gunman and the baby and he shot him,” Mike Wakefield told the newspaper. “He shot him multiple times on the ground.”
That story was confirmed by other eyewitnesses to ABC affiliate WPLG in Miami.
Video obtained by Fox affiliate WSVN in Miami and posted to social media appears to show Davis doing some sort of dance on the patio of La Cerveceria, which witnesses told WPLG he was performing while standing over Wakefield’s body.
The police report says Wakefield was shot multiple times, including in the head, and WSVN says he was transported from the scene and pronounced dead at Miami’s Jackson Memorial Hospital.
Davis was arrested in an alley adjacent to the restaurant shortly after the shooting, which was captured on video by bystanders and provided to the Miami Herald. In the video, Davis is lying on his back in the alley, spread eagled and smiling, as officers begin to shout commands at him; the gun is several feet away.
He reportedly waved his right to remain silent and spoke to police after his arrest. Police say he told them that he was high on mushrooms, which made him feel “empowered,” and picked both his victims at random, according to WPLG.
He was charged with murder in the second degree with a weapon for the death of Wakefield, and attempted murder in the second degree for his attempts to shoot the other man.
At his court hearing on Wednesday afternoon, Davis asked the judge about his bond, according to WPLG.
“Sir, you are being held with no bond. You shot and killed somebody in cold blood,” the judge said, according to WPLG. (Davis did receive a bond on the attempted murder charge.)
Contacted by the Miami Herald, Davis’ father said his son worked as a UPS driver and had been visiting South Beach with friends. He expressed shock at his son’s behavior.
Wakefield’s family have set up two GoFundMe fundraisers for his wife and child. One, set up by his uncle Michael Wakefield, had raised more than $213,000 by Thursday evening. The other, set up by his stepmother Angela Wakefield, had raised more than $48,000 by Thursday evening.
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