MIAMI BEACH, Fla. – When 1-year-old Eli looks at the photo of his father, he says “daddy.”
His daddy was Dustin Wakefield, the 21-year-old man murdered in front of his family on South Beach last week.
Wakefield’s wife, Karina Olguin, spoke to Local 10 News in an exclusive interview Monday, detailing the horrifying scene that played out as the family ate dinner at an outdoor café at 14th Street and Ocean Drive last Tuesday evening.
“I remember Dustin saying, ‘Please, I have a son. He’s just a boy.’ And that’s when it all happened,” Olguin said.
They were visiting from Colorado, dining with extended relatives when the gunman approached.
Police say Tamarius Blair Davis Jr., 22, of Norcross, Georgia, claimed to be high on mushrooms during the random attack, to which he confessed.
“Dustin was begging for his life,” his wife recalled. “He was like, ‘I have a son, please, he’s only 1 year old.”
She says Dustin should be remembered “as a hero, as a courageous man and as an amazing, loving father” for getting between the gunman and his family.
“I was like, ‘Dustin the baby.’ I yelled,” Olguin said. “Dustin got up, got Eli and took him to my grandma.
“He was right behind me,” she said of the shooter. “I remember him leaving. It was fast.”
Wakefield lives on in his little boy Eli, whose face lit up each time he saw a photo of his dad during a video call Monday morning.
“In memory of my son, I ask: Do something good like he would,” Dustin’s mom Lora said Monday. “Smile at a stranger, give a hug to somebody. See the person in front of you. Really see them. Don’t let this world desensitize you to what love is.
A GoFundMe page has been set up to support the family. Click here to see details and donate.