TikTok Star Ophelia Nichols's Son Was Shot and Killed a Day Before Turning 19 — Who Killed Him?

On June 24, 2024, Mama Tot honored her late son on TikTok, marking the two-year anniversary of his death.


Jun. 24 2024, Updated 2:24 p.m. ET

TikTok star Ophelia Nichols, commonly referred to as "Mama Tot" by her fans, faced an unthinkable tragedy in June 2022, one no parent ever wants to endure. On the night of June 24, 2022, just a day before his 19th birthday, Ophelia's son, Randon Lee, was shot and killed at a gas station outside Mobile, Ala., WKRN reported.

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A man later turned himself in for Randon's death, but this did little to alleviate the pain and heartbreak that Ophelia will endure forever. Here's everything we know about the events surrounding Randon's death.

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Ophelia (aka Mama Tot) used TikTok to express her grief and call for action after her son was killed.

"Today would have been my baby child's 19th birthday, but he was took from me last night. Took from my children and my husband and our family," Ophelia said in a video posted to her TikTok on June 25, 2022. "My son was murdered. He was shot."

Mama Tot often posts videos in a friendly Southern accent from her front porch or kitchen.

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"I ain't never asked y'all for anything, but I need your help with this," she said while speaking through tears. "There's almost 7 million people that follow me. Somebody's got to know something." Ophelia added that she feels a "hatred in my heart that I don't recognize 'cause I have never felt hate for anyone."

In text embedded in the video, Ophelia had more to say about her son and her quest for justice. "I will not stop until my son's murderer is found and prosecuted," she wrote.

"You will be found! You will reap what you sow in this world. You may not be caught now but it's coming. I hope you see my son's face every day of your life," she added in the caption underneath.

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Reuben Gulley turned himself in for the fatal shooting of Randon Lee.

In August 2022, Reuben Thomas Gulley turned himself in and was promptly arrested and charged with killing Randon Lee. Ophelia addressed the arrest in a TikTok video, noting that although she's grateful, she's "not happy."

"I'm getting a hundred messages saying, 'You must be so happy,' and I am not," she said. "I am not happy. You know, when situations like this happen, or other traumatic situations, I look at everything…"

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"And when I seen that mugshot last night, I thought to myself, 'My goodness, he's just a baby. He's just a baby,'" she went on. "And then I seen comments from his teachers that said, 'I taught him in high school, he was a lovely young man.' I bet he was. I bet he was."

Police described the fatal shooting as a drug deal gone wrong. Randon was reportedly a local cannabis dealer, and Gulley had reportedly bought from him in the past, but this transaction sadly took a deadly turn.

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Fans offered sympathy for Ophelia's loss and donated to her GoFundMe.

In the comments under Mama Tot's aforementioned mentioned video, longtime fans of Mama Tot offered their support for her.

"My heart is in pieces for you mama. I am so sorry, I love you so much," one person added.

A GoFundMe was set up to support Ophelia in the wake of the tragedy, raising more than $280,000.

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How many kids does Mama Tot have?

In addition to Randon, Ophelia has two other sons as well as a daughter.

These days, Ophelia frequently reminds her followers to cherish every moment with their children, emphasizing the importance of creating memories over acquiring material things.

On June 24, 2024, Ophelia took to TikTok to pay tribute to her late son on the two-year anniversary of his death. “It’s been two years of heartache and hardships, and tons of struggles. As anybody who has had to live through grief, you know how difficult it is," she tearfully admitted to viewers.

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She went on to explain that after shutting down the GoFundMe campaign, which had surpassed its initial goal, they used the funds to cover funeral expenses and launch a nonprofit foundation named "Randon's Way" in her son's honor. "My goal was to create a nonprofit foundation in my baby child's name," she said, so people would remember him for more than just being the son of a TikTok star. The nonprofit focuses on several causes, with youth mentorship as a top priority.

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