The tourist who was killed by a crazed gunman outside of a restaurant in Miami Beach was a “hero” who “loved his family” and tried to shield them from harm’s way in his final moments, relatives said.
Dustin Wakefield, 21, of Castle Rock, Colorado, was hailed for allegedly standing up to protect his 1-year-old son and wife, Karina, when the accused gunman, Tamarius Blair Davis, 22, approached them outside of La Cerveceria de Barrio on Tuesday night.
“It is in his true character that he laid to rest, protecting his family. He is that man,“ his father and stepmother, Matt and Angela Wakefield, said in a statement to Denver7.
“We take great pride and comfort in the fact that we were blessed with the man who stepped in front of the bullet to save others. He has always been and he will continue to be our hero.”
The family said that Dustin was a “faithful and loving husband” to his wife of two years.
“Karina is the love of his life, and she knows it. His love for her should inspire us. As a father, he was full of love and pride. His son knows he is loved,” the statement said.
His uncle, Mike Wakefield, said that Dustin was “very proud of his family.”
“He was a bright light. He was a young father. He loved his family,” he told NBC Miami.
Witnesses described a horrifying scene in which Davis opened fire on Wakefield at close range in the outdoor dining section of the restaurant then danced over his body.
Davis told authorities that he took mushrooms “which made him feel empowered” to shoot Wakefield and another customer, who suffered non-life-threatening injuries, according to a police report.
He was arrested on charges of second-degree murder with a weapon and attempted murder then taken to Miami-Dade County Jail, where he’s being held without bond.
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