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TikTok star pleads for answers in son’s killing: 'Somebody's got to know something'

Ophelia Nichols, who has more than 7 million followers TikTok, lost her young child, Randon Lee, to gun violence. Now she's asking her fans for help.
Ophelia Nichols and her son Randon Lee.
Ophelia Nichols — a.k.a. shoelover99 — is pleading for answers in her son Randon Lee's murder. Ophelia Nichols via Facebook
/ Source: TODAY

A beloved TikTok star is mourning the loss of her son, who died by gun violence one day before his 19th birthday. 

Ophelia Nichols, known on social media as “shoelover99," announced on Saturday that her youngest child, Randon Lee, was gunned down at a gas station in Prichard, Alabama.

“My son was taken from us last night by the hands of another individual at just 18 years old. He would be 19 today but Someone else made the decision to end my sons life,” Nichols wrote on Facebook. "They are walking around in my own town, living and breathing while my son is not.”

A detective with the Prichard Police Department told TODAY Parents that the case is still under investigation and authorities cannot provide any further details at this time.

Nichols is now asking her more than 7 million TikTok followers to help family find answers.

“Somebody’s got to know something,” Nichols said through tears in an emotional video on Sunday.

She captioned the clip, "You will be found! You will reap what you sow in this world. You may not be caught now but its coming. I hope you see my son's face everyday of your life."

"I have this hatred in my heart that I don't recognize because I've never felt hate for anybody," she said. "And I know they're out there in my town. They're out there living and breathing and my son is dead.

In an emotional plea, she held up a photo of herself and Lee, and addressed Randon’s killer, directly.

“I want you to look at my son. This is my son,” she said. “And you took him from me. Look at his face, because I”ll never see it again.”

Nichols, who has three other grown children, rose to internet fame with videos designed to spread love and positivity. Her fans call her “mama tot,” and turn to her for advice.

Nichols shared a comment on her TikTok video saying that investigators have a “lead on two individuals.” 

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