She shared her thoughts. Hours after Reuben GulleyHe was taken into custody on charges related to the death Ophelia Nichols’ son, the TikTok star opened up about her emotional reaction to the news.
“Grateful, but not happy,” Nichols, 40, captioned a Friday, August 19, TikTok video before detailing her full account.
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The social media influencer explained: “I’m getting a hundred messages saying, ‘You must be so happy right now,’ and I am not. I’m not happy. … When I seen that mugshot last night, I thought to myself, ‘My goodness, he’s just a baby.’”
Nichols recalled reading comments from the 20-year-old suspect’s loved ones who described him as a “lovely young man,” which she “bet” that he was.
“That just made me think, within 11 seconds, he made the decision to just throw his life away,” she added, noting that Gulley and her late son, Randon Lee, both “have a mother that would do absolutely anything for them.”
She continued: “So remember this, there’s now two families that are hurting, there’s two of us. And those parents shouldn’t suffer for something that their child did, just as well as I shouldn’t suffer for anything that my children have done.”
Nichols — who announced earlier this month that her son had died just shy of his 19th birthday — further offered prayers for Gulley’s family. She hoped that Gulley’s mother would not be subject to negative comments about her child in her hometown, as she was.
“I don’t wish that on anybody,” the Alabama native added. “That was really hard for me. Neither one of our children should’ve been there that night. They were both wrong. I know it’s going to be a long road to justice. I hope it’s done right, as it should.”
Gulley surrendered himself to the Mobile County Metro Jail on Thursday, August 18, in connection to murder charges, according to the jail’s website.
Nichols had previously confirmed that her son was shot to death.
“He was took from me last night,” the “Mama Tots” personality said in a TikTok video on June 25. “Took from my children and my husband and our family. My son was killed. He was shot and I have this hatred in my heart that I don’t recognize ’cause I’ve never felt hate for anybody.”
She continued: “I never asked y’all for anything, but I need your help with this. There’s almost 7 million people that follow me. Somebody’s got to know something. Someone knows who did this to my child. And I’m asking for somebody’s help. Anybody’s help. It’s my son.”
Local police officers later discovered that the teenager was shot at a gas station, after approaching the pumps at exactly the same time as him. This was announced at a June press conference. The suspect fled quickly after he fired the weapon. After the first responders arrived on the scene, Lee was declared dead.