Ophelia Nichols, who has seven million followers posted a video in which she desperately asked for assistance to find son Randon Lee’s murderer.
‘The word is getting out and I need to let everybody know. I am doing this video for a reason. I have never asked y’all for anything, but I need your help with this,’ Nichols began in a tearful plea.
‘Today would have been my baby child’s 19th birthday. My son was murdered. He was shot and I have this hatred in my heart that I don’t recognize, because I’ve never felt hate for anybody,’ she continued with pain etched across her face.
‘This individual took my son’s life and I know they’re out there in my town. They’re out there living and breathing and my son’s dead. He was just 18 years old. That’s the best part of somebody’s life, and I know they’re out there in my town. They’re out there,’ she said referring to his killer.
‘I want you to look at my son. This is my son. And you took him from me,’ Nichols said as she broke down sobbing.
‘Somebody know who did this to my child and I am asking for somebody’s help. Anybody’s help,’ she said before the video cut off.
TikTok influencer Ophelia Nichols from Alabama has made a tearful plea for help in tracking down her son’s killer after he was shot dead on Friday in his car
Randon Lee, 18, was killed at around 7:45am in Prichard, near Mobile
Randon Lee died one day before his 19th birthday. He was found dead in his car at a gas station
The heartbreaking video was a huge departure from the kind of material she normally posts on the social media platform with Nichols normally posting joyful, happy videos of herself delivered with southern charm.
Her postings cover all manner of topics from family celebrations to sharing a new recipe or sharing beauty tips.
Nichols said her son was shot at an Exxon gas station at around 7:45am on Friday. He then drove to a second station, Energizer, in the town of Prichard, Alabama, near Mobile, where he was found to have died from his injuries.
Her heartbreaking plea has already managed to rack up almost 19 million views in a single day with some locals writing in the comments section offering their support and help.
‘People talk. People talk, so I wanted that video to be seen because if the person who did this to my son could see what he did to our family. He took my son from me. My son,’ Nichols said.
Her son was to have celebrated his 19th birthday on Saturday.
‘Just been told We have a lead on 2 individuals. I hope they see this video & know what they have done to my family,’ she wrote in an update in the comments on her tearjerking video.
Nichols, who has seven million followers shared news of her heartbreak in a video which has now been viewed 19 million times. She is pictured here holding up a photo of her son
Ophelia told local station NBC12 that she was finding it hard to do nothing and hope that police track down those responsible.
‘You have to sit back and hope and pray that they do what needs to be done so that the person or people who did this to my baby child gets behind bars. You have no choice but to sit here and wait,’ she said.
‘I spoke to him yesterday morning around 10 to tell him I had his money for his birthday. He was looking forward to it. Just hanging out with his friends and girlfriend. His family was his life,’ she added.
She said there was some comfort to be had in that her son was an organ donor and that part of him will live on with his organs having been transplanted into others.
Ophelia’s shock quickly turned to grief, and now anger.
‘I have this hatred in my heart that I don’t recognize. Because I’ve never felt hate for anybody,’ she said.
No arrests have been made at the current time and the investigation is continuing. The motive behind the killing remains unclear.
Anyone with information can contact the Prichard Police Department at 251-452-7800 or the Mobile County Sheriff’s Office at 251-574-8633.