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Cops: Man Killed Tourist Trying to Protect Baby Son

Tamarius Davis told police he was 'high on mushrooms'
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 25, 2021 5:30 PM CDT
Cops: Man 'High on Mushrooms' Killed Florida Tourist
This image provided by the Miami-Dade Police Department shows Tamarius Blair Davis Jr., who fatally shot a tourist eating dinner with his family at a Miami Beach restaurant, police and a family member said.   (Miami-Dade Police Department via AP)

(Newser) – A tourist from Colorado died protecting his 1-year-old son from a murderous stranger at a Miami Beach restaurant, authorities say. Police say 22-year-old Georgia resident Tamarius Davis Jr. told them he shot Dustin Wakefield, 21, because he was "high on mushrooms which made him feel empowered," the Miami Herald reports. Video obtained by WSVN shows the suspect dancing in the restaurant's outdoor patio as people scream after the Tuesday evening shooting. Police say Davis told them he chose Wakefield—and another man he shot at and missed moments earlier—at random.

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Mike Wakefield, the victim's uncle, tells the Herald that according to accounts from family members, "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.' Dustin stood up between the gunman and the baby and he shot him." The uncle, who has started a GoFundMe fundraiser for the family, says Dustin was shot multiple times while he was on the ground. "He was the kindest kid," he says. "He loved his family. He loved being a dad."

Davis was charged with murder and is being held without bond. Father Tommy Davis tells the AP that he had gone to Miami Beach with some friends. He says his son has never had mental health issues or been in trouble. He says he doesn't know if his son would take mushrooms or other substances. "You think you know your kid, but you don't," he said. “It is possible someone gave him something. That is something we need to find out.” (Read more Florida stories.)

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