Miami Beach mayor promises action after Ocean Drive murder of 21-year-old father hailed a hero

MIAMI BEACH, Fla. – Miami Beach Mayor Dan Gelber asked the public on Thursday afternoon to consider making a donation to fundraisers in memory of Dustin Wakefield, of Castle Rock, Colorado.

His mother, Lora Wakefield, recognized fundraisers by Michael Wakefield and Angela Wakefield to benefit his 1-year-old son and wife, Karina Wakefield Olguin.

“Mr. Wakefield came to our city to create a special family moment and instead became a casualty of a horrendous and despicable act,” Gelber said.

Nearly two days after the 21-year-old father died while protecting his son from a deranged gunman at La Cerveceria de Barrio in South Beach, the Mexican restaurant was open for dinner on Ocean Drive.

“I won’t pretend that all is just fine in South Beach,” Gelber said.

Tamarius Davis, 22, of Norcross, Georgia, was still being held without bond at the Turner Guilford Knight Correctional Center. He alleged he was under an apparent mushroom-induced psychosis when he shot Wakefield, according to the Miami Beach Police Department.

“Our entertainment district attracts too many people, including too many looking to fight, or to buy drugs, or carrying guns, and too often using them ... no revenue is worth this pain,” Gelber said.

Gelber said most perpetrators and victims of crimes in South Beach are tourists. He said the city commission has imposed dozens of measures and increased the size of the police department and brought in resources from other departments.

Witness videos show Davis was involved in another shooting on 14th Street near Ocean Drive before he shot Wakefield. He is facing two felony charges of second-degree murder with a weapon and attempted second-degree murder.

“We don’t need, nor can we sustain any longer an entertainment district. It has become a magnet for too much trouble and disorder. It also puts our police at risk and drains resources,” Gelber said.

Gelber said there will be a special meeting on this topic.

“We urgently need action, as a failure to act assures nothing will change,” Gelber said.

Mayor’s message on YouTube

Local 10 News Reporters Christina Vazquez and Rosh Lowe contributed to this report.

About the Author:

Janine Stanwood joined Local 10 News in February 2004 as an assignment editor. She is now a general assignment reporter. Before moving to South Florida from her Washington home, Janine was the senior legislative correspondent for a United States senator on Capitol Hill.