After police arrested a man allegedly connected to the murder of Ophelia Nichols’ son Randon Lee, the TikTok star shared her thoughts as she continues to mourn her child.
TikTok star Ophelia Nichols says she is “grateful, but not happy” that a suspect in her late son’s murder has been caught.
Randon Lee was killed inside a gas station in Prichard, Ala, one day before his 19th birthday, last June. According to Mobile County Sheriff’s records, the suspect, Reuben Gulley, 20, was arrested and jailed on a murder charge on August 18. He turned himself into police, according to local Fox affiliate WALA-TV.
According to a representative for the Mobile County District Attorney’s Office, the suspect is being held without release since he was on bond for narcotics cases at the time of the offense. He has not hired an attorney, and his arraignment is set for August 23.
In an Aug. 19 TikTok video, Lee’s mom said, “I’m getting 100 messages saying, ‘You must be so happy right now.’ And I am not. I am not happy.”
She captioned her clip, “Grateful, but not happy.”
Ophelia said that when she saw the suspect’s mug shot, she thought to herself, “My goodness. He’s just a baby.” She added, “That just made me think, within 11 seconds, he made a decision to just throw his life away. And there’s one thing that he and my baby child had in common, and that was that they both have a mother that would do absolutely everything for them. I’m sure they have that in common.”
According to WALA, Ophelia’s son was shot after meeting up with two persons to sell them marijuana. The outlet aired what it claimed to be a CCTV video from the gas station.
It shows a man in a red hoodie exiting a parked car at a gas station, walking over to an adjacent silver sedan parked on the opposite side, and climbing into the backseat. Several seconds later, the person exits, carrying what looks to be a gun, as the silver sedan pulls away. The person then enters the front passenger seat of the first car, which also leaves.
Lee was shot in the rear and drove across the street to another gas station. According to the E! Online report, he crashed and died as a result of his injuries.
“I know it’s going to be a long road to justice,” Ophelia said, “and I hope it’s done right, as it should.”
The TikTok, also a mom to three older children, expressed empathy for the suspect’s loved ones. “There are now two families that are hurting,” she said. “And those parents shouldn’t suffer for something that their child did, just as well that I shouldn’t suffer for anything that my children have done.”
Ophelia also talked about being hurt by remarks made by members of her community about her son following the shooting. “The people in my town, that I grew up with, I shop at the same stores that they do—made such terrible comments about my baby child. I thought, ‘Why? You don’t even know him.’ Then I thought, ‘Lord I hope you don’t go through that because I don’t wish that on anybody.’ That was really hard for me.”