MIAMI BEACH, Fla. (AP) — A gunman fatally shot a tourist eating dinner with his family at a Miami Beach restaurant as the man protected his 1-year-old son, police and a family member said.
Tamarius Blair David Jr., 22, of Norcross, Georgia, told investigators he shot Dustin Wakefield, 21, on Tuesday night because he “was high on mushrooms, which made him feel empowered,” according to his arrest report.
David allegedly told police he entered La Cerveceria restaurant just before 6:30 p.m. and randomly decided to shoot Wakefield, who was on vacation from Castle Rock, Colorado.
Mike Wakefield, the victim’s uncle, told the Miami Herald that Dustin Wakefield died protecting his young son.
“This guy came in with a gun waving it, saying it’s time to die. He pointed the gun at his son and Dustin said, ‘He’s only a boy,’” said Mike Wakefield, who was not in South Beach but heard the account from his family. “Dustin stood up between the gunman and the baby and he shot him. He shot him multiple times on the ground.”
He said of his nephew, who worked in construction, “He was the kindest kid. He loved his family. He loved being a dad.”
David ran from the restaurant and was captured as he ran down an alley. Cellphone video obtained by the Herald shows David lying spread-eagle on his back and smiling as three officers approach with their guns pointed towards him yelling commands, warning him that if he touches his gun he will be shot.
David then rolled onto his side into a fetal position, before again rolling onto his back as officers approached. David screamed “I give, I give, I give” as officers flip him onto his stomach and handcuff him. The video shows a black handgun lying about 10 feet (three meters) away.
David is charged with murder and was being held without bond Wednesday at the Miami-Dade County Jail. Jail records do not indicate if he has an attorney.
Matt and Angela Wakefield, Dustin's father and stepmother, sent Denver7 a statement about Dustin:
There are few words in the English language that can convey the depth of Dustin’s love and generosity. For us, his family, he was the best son/brother/uncle/cousin/nephew/grandson you could ask for. His heart always put others first, even from a young age.
As a man, he was a faithful and loving husband. Karina is the love of his life, and she knows it. His love for her should inspire us. As a father he was full of love and pride. His son knows he is loved.
As a friend, there is not a person alive who did not feel his kindness, acceptance and love always from him. He would give freely to anyone, and would give from his heart full of love and acceptance.
He loved God. Everyday he lived full of faith and peace and he shared that with others.
It is in his true character that he laid to rest, protecting his family. He is that man. We take great pride and comfort in the fact that we were blessed with the man who stepped in front of the bullet to save others. He has always been and he will continue to be our hero.
Matt and Angela Wakefield
Anyone who wishes to help the family with expenses can donate to their GoFundMe page.