Tragedy has struck a TikTok star.
On Saturday, Ophelia Nichols — a personality on the aforementioned platform known on as “Mama Tot,” who goes by the handle @shoelover99 — announced in heart-shattering fashion that her son had been shot and killed in Alabama the day before.
His name was Randon Lee.
He was 18 years old.
“My son was murdered,” Nichols said in the TikTok footage, noting that Saturday would have been his 19th birthday.
“He was shot. And I have this hatred in my heart that I don’t recognize, because I have never felt hate for anybody.”
According to local Alabama outlet WKRN, Lee was the victim of a homicide that took place at a gas station in the town of Prichard.
He was found dead at a different gas station after having driven away from the initial establishment in the wake of getting shot.
“The word is already gotten out and I’m just being overloaded with messages,” Nichols continued on June 25.
“And I need to let everybody know. But I’m doing this video for a reason. Because I need y’all’s help.
“I never asked y’all for anything, but I need your help with this. There’s almost 7 million people that follow me. Somebody’s got to know something.
“Today would have been my baby child’s 19th birthday, but he was [taken] from me last night.”
As far as we know, the assailant remains on the loose.
“Somebody’s gotta know something,” Mama Tot pleaded while breaking down.
“This individual took my son’s life. … And I know they’re out there, in my town. They’re out there.
“They’re out there living and breathing but my son is dead.”
From there, Then, Nichols held up a picture of herself with Randon.
“Somebody knows who did this to my child, and I’m asking for somebody’s help, anybody’s,” Mom Tot added in a video that has been viewed over 20 million times.
A few hours after sharing her video, Nichols updated her followers, writing within the comment section:
“Just been told We have a lead on 2 individuals. I hope they see this video & know what they have done to my family.”
Police in Prichard have since confirmed to WALA they are following leads in the murder, but no arrests have been made yet.
A GoFundMe campaign is underway online; it is seeking donations to defray the costs of Randon’s funeral and has thus far raised over $281,000.
Anyone with any information about the deadly shooting, meanwhile, is being asked to call Alabama’s Investigation Crime Hotline at 800-392-8011.
On her Facebook page, Nichols expressed gratitude to her followers for the donations and the support.
“I think of myself as this normal person who just loves on people but I forget that I have grown a family of almost 7 million via social media & I am grateful for you all,” she wrote.
“Thank you for the continued prayers for myself, my husband, my children and our family.”