MIAMI BEACH, FLA. (WSVN) - A ceremony was held in Miami Beach to honor a father from Colorado who died protecting his family from a gunman while they were eating dinner at a sidewalk café.
Dozens gathered across the street from La Cerveceria, along the 1400 block of Ocean Drive, Tuesday to pay tribute to 21-year-old Dustin Wakefield.
“The pain is like no other, along with the nightmare,” a man said, who read a note written by Wakefield’s mother. “It was a cold-blooded murder, and the visions of it are gut-wrenching. He was an angel on Earth, a perfect son, husband and father.”
Those who attended the ceremony could be seen holding flowers, praying and singing songs while surrounding Wakefield’s photo.
The 21-year-old’s family and friends said he bravely did what every father would do after a stranger pointed a gun at his 1-year-old son on Aug. 24.
“He did do it trying to protect his son,” cousin Sabrina Berlin said.
“He was very dedicated to his family,” family friend Vicky Furr said. “He just adored his wife and really adored his son.”
Cellphone video captured the alleged killer, 22-year-old Tamarius Davis from Norcross, Georgia, apparently dancing in the restaurant’s patio shortly after the shooting. Another video captured him being arrested by Miami Beach Police officers in a nearby alleyway.
According to police, Davis told officers he was high on mushrooms and randomly chose two men to shoot.
“I hope they can at least know that he will not be forgotten,” vigil organizer Irene Bigger said. “He was a stranger, but then, he was not a stranger the day that he was killed in our backyard.”
“This is a little thing we could do for him to honor his life,” said one vigil attendee. “He was a hero for his family. I believe in the afterworld itself, and I hope he feels honored.”
In a video obtained by the Miami Herald, Davis could apparently be seen shooting at another person near Ocean Drive moments before he allegedly shot and killed Wakefield.
“Was there an amount for the second-degree charge?” Davis asked Miami-Dade Circuit Court Judge Mindy Glazer in bond court last week.
“It’s no bond,” the judge replied. “You’re being held with no bond. You shot and killed somebody in cold blood.”
“We felt very disgusted, and you just feel sick to your stomach,” said another vigil attendee.
For Wakefield’s friends and family, his legacy will forever live in their memories.
“Death is always sad, but just knowing that it absolutely– there was no rhyme or reason to it, it just feels so pointless,” family friend William Furr said.
Davis, meanwhile, faces charges of attempted second-degree murder and second-degree murder with a weapon.
Anyone who would like to donate to the GoFundMe set up for Wakefield’s family, click here.
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