About Us Contact Us Privacy Policy Terms of Use Accuracy & Fairness Corrections & Clarifications Ethics Code Your Ad Choices
© MEAWW All rights reserved

Randon Lee murder: Alabama teen's mom Ophelia Nichols says suspect's family was 'suffering' like her

Reuben Gulley is accussed of killing Randon Lee, who the police said was at the crime scene to sell marijuana
TikTok star Ophelia Nichols' son Randon Lee was fatally shot at a gas station in June 2022 (@ophelianichols/Instagram)
TikTok star Ophelia Nichols' son Randon Lee was fatally shot at a gas station in June 2022 (@ophelianichols/Instagram)

PRICHARD, ALABAMA: The mother of 19-year-old Randon Lee, who was fatally shot in 2022, reportedly said that creating videos helped her stay mentally well through this tough time. Ophelia Nichols, who is a TikTok star with 11.5 million followers, said that her “grief journey” healed others and helped her "heart repair a little day by day.” She also had a message for the suspect and his family.  

Lee was gunned down at a gas station in Prichard, Alabama, on June 24, 2022. According to Prichard police, he was there with two individuals to sell them marijuana before he was allegedly shot by one of the suspects inside his car. Following his death, suspect Reuben Gulley was arrested and charged with murder.


Randon Lee murder: Accused Rueben Gulley spoke to TikTok star’s son on phone minutes before killing him

Who was Randon Lee? Cops claim TikToker Ophelia Nichols' son was peddling drugs when he was killed

Nichols recently appeared on the red carpet at the Cheer Choice Awards at The Palms Resort in Las Vegas where she won an award for Cheer of the Year “for being a positive and influential figure on social media." Speaking to The Sun, she narrated how her life has been following the loss. She said that there was a section of people who still attacked her son after police declared him a drug dealer, but she refused to react to them as she believes, “You never look good trying to make somebody else look bad. We know we are good people.”

'Every single day a little piece of my heart is healed'

Nichols said that being a counselor for those dealing with loss and heartbreak had been a “positive” in her life. She reportedly said, “I didn’t realize how mamas were following me even before, and a lot of them found me in the midst of the tragedy. It has brought a lot of people to me with that grief journey. There are people that have healed me on social media. Every single day a little piece of my heart is healed. They think I do something for them. They are doing something for me every day."

Nichold continued, “Before I lost my son, I didn’t have a lot of people asking me how to deal with grief. But since this has happened, other mothers have kind of flocked to me not just for advice, but to lift me up and saying, ‘You are part of our club now, you didn’t ask to be a part of this one, neither did we, we will get through this together.’ So I have now been in contact with so many other mamas that have been through the same exact things. The grief journey has really blown up regarding myself and my account, and I am okay with that because that is another step in helping people. I might not have the right words, but I certainly can show them how I do it daily. I talk about things on a bad day with my grief and okay days. I share it all. I am just like everybody else. I want them to know I am no different and no better. I am just me. We are going through the same thing, and we will stick by each other.”

'My baby child wants me to live'

Speaking about her zeal to make videos, Nichols said, "I cannot say it in words how I do it. I just get up every day because I have to live. My baby child wants me to live. I don’t think in words tell somebody how I am doing. I can show them I get up, put my face on, and make an effort every single day. I do not want to fall back. I am such an open book. But for someone who has lost child, depression could be sitting on shoulder. So, I try to do everything and anything I can to be proactive about my own mental health in the middle of my grief. It’s important to me. I’ve got people who depend on me. I have got my husband and other three grown children that depend on me - and 11.5million people that depend on me.”

Speaking about her son, Nichols reportedly said, “Through the midst of the investigation, they felt that my son was there to sell a bag of marijuana to the young man. After seeing surveillance cameras, it looked quite odd because he got into the back seat of my baby child’s car, and 11 seconds later, he was gone. Nobody knows what was said or done. They do feel he was there to sell him a bag of marijuana," adding, "Nothing is worth taking a life. It doesn’t take away the fact I am proud of my son. My son lived on his own, paid his bills, at almost 19, had a good job. That’s not gonna take away anything. We are very proud of him.”

Nichols further stated that she felt sorry for the alleged killer’s family. She said, “It’s not just my family that is suffering. That other young man’s family now is gonna suffer too. It’s two families hurting. I empathize with his mother and father. I know that hurts them too. They didn’t raise the son to do that. But he had a choice that night, but for whatever reason, in 11 seconds, that is what he chose.”