A man accused of fatally shooting a tourist eating dinner with his family at a Miami Beach restaurant as the man protected his 1-year-old son was formally arraigned Tuesday morning.
Tamarius Blair Davis, 22, is facing second-degree murder and attempted second-degree murder in the Aug. 24 shooting.
Davis didn't appear in court but his attorney entered a not guilty plea on his behalf.
Davis, of Norcross, Georgia, told investigators he shot Dustin Wakefield, 21, because he "was high on mushrooms, which made him feel empowered," according to his arrest report.
Davis allegedly told police he approached the patio area of the La Cerveceria restaurant and randomly decided to shoot Wakefield, who was on vacation from Castle Rock, Colorado.
Mike Wakefield, the victim’s uncle, told the Miami Herald that Dustin Wakefield died protecting his young son.
"This guy came in with a gun waving it, saying it’s time to die. He pointed the gun at his son and Dustin said, ‘He’s only a boy,'" said Mike Wakefield, who was not in South Beach but heard the account from his family. “Dustin stood up between the gunman and the baby and he shot him. He shot him multiple times on the ground."
He said of his nephew, who worked in construction, “He was the kindest kid. He loved his family. He loved being a dad.'
Davis fled the restaurant, police said, and was captured in a nearby alley. Cellphone video obtained by the Herald showed Davis lying spread-eagle on his back and smiling as three officers approach with their guns pointed towards him yelling commands, warning him that if he touches his gun he will be shot.
Davis then rolled onto his side into a fetal position, before again rolling onto his back as officers approached. Davis screamed "I give, I give, I give" as officers flip him onto his stomach and handcuff him. The video shows a black handgun lying about 10 feet away.
Davis was being held without bond Tuesday at the Miami-Dade County Jail. His next court hearing is scheduled for next week, and his trial is expected to begin in December.