Two suspects were seen running from a parking lot where the victim was found, police said.
Sophomore Wesley D. Gennings filled his class schedule with rigorous courses, including a college-level world-history class, Spanish and chemistry, as a member of the advanced-placement academy at Decatur High School, according to a spokeswoman for Federal Way Public Schools.
The 16-year-old, who sat out last year’s football season because of an injury, was back on the gridiron this season with aspirations of playing college ball and then playing professionally in the NFL, according to a statement released Sunday evening. Gennings also joined the junior-varsity wrestling team this year, the statement says.
When students return to school Wednesday, grief counselors will be on hand to help them deal with news that Gennings was fatally shot in the parking lot of a Federal Way Taco Bell around 8 p.m. Saturday.
“Wesley was well-known, well-liked, loved, and involved in his school community and beyond,” the statement quoted Decatur principal David Brower as saying. “His smile always radiated kindness and optimism. He was a motivated student, with a gift for introspection and kindness.”
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Gennings, who was from Federal Way, also attended Olympic View Elementary, Silver Lake Elementary and Saghalie Middle School before attending Decatur High School, the statement says.
According to Federal Way police, Gennings was found dead inside a car in the restaurant’s parking lot, police said.
Two male suspects were seen running from the parking lot at 21st Avenue Southwest and Southwest Campus Drive, according to police Cmdr. Brett Hatfield.
The two men were seen inside the vehicle with Gennings before running from the parking lot. Police said the men were believed to be in their late teens or early 20s, wearing dark clothes and headed southeast from the parking lot.
Police said Sunday morning that no one had been arrested.
“The shooting of a teenage boy last night was a tragedy, and I send my sincere condolences to his family, friends and schoolmates at Decatur High School,” Federal Way Mayor Jim Ferrell said in a statement Sunday. “Far too often, communities across our country are faced with these types of devastating crimes.”
Gennings’ friend Chris McCray, a fellow Decatur sophomore, described Gennings as a happy teenager who was “all about football and his friends.”
The news Sunday shocked McCray.
“I couldn’t speak,” he said. “It had me frozen.”
Anyone with information about the crime can call police at 253-835-2121 or leave a tip at www.safecityfw.com.