Police have arrested a 16-year-old boy and say drug dealing was behind the fatal shooting of a Decatur High School student in a Federal Way parking lot on Saturday, Feb. 13, 2016.

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Police have arrested a 16-year-old boy in connection with the fatal shooting of Wesley D. Gennings in a parking lot at a Federal Way fast-food restaurant.

According to police, Gennings, 16, was shot Feb. 13  while he was seated in a vehicle in a Taco Bell parking lot at 21st Avenue Southwest and Southwest Campus Drive.

Police said two suspects were seen inside the vehicle with Gennings before running from the parking lot.

Police said the suspect in custody told investigators he and a 14-year-old had been in the car with Gennings to buy marijuana.

“Through investigation, the police department can confidently report that this senseless crime was purely motivated by the sale and distribution of drugs,” police said in a news release.

According to a spokeswoman for the Federal Way Police Department, the 16-year-old had a handgun when he was arrested Thursday at Thomas Jefferson High School. He has been booked into the King County Juvenile Detention Center, police said.

Several witnesses told detectives Gennings and the 16-year-old were friends, according to a probable-cause statement outlining the police case against the suspect.

The second suspect is described by police as a Tacoma resident and Saghalie Middle School student. Police say he should be considered armed and dangerous.

The Seattle Times generally does not name juvenile suspects unless they’re facing prosecution as an adult.

Gennings, who was from Federal Way, was a sophomore at Decatur High School and a member of the football team. He also attended Olympic View Elementary, Silver Lake Elementary and Saghalie Middle School before Decatur High, according to a statement by Decatur principal David Brower.

“Wesley was well-known, well-liked, loved, and involved in his school community and beyond,” the statement says. “His smile always radiated kindness and optimism. He was a motivated student, with a gift for introspection and kindness.”

The Federal Way School District issued a statement Friday in which it said it was working with police “to ensure the safety of students and staff at Saghalie Middle School by deploying all available resources to enhance safety, both on campus and with patrols.”

Lonnie Gennings, the victim’s mother, spent Friday preparing for her son’s funeral.

“My son didn’t deserve this,” she said.

She described the teen — who was her “only baby” — as charismatic and kind, always willing to help people in need.

“Make sure you tell your children ‘I love you’ every night, because you never know when it’s going to be the last,” she said. “They broke me.”

Seattle Times staff reporter Jessica Lee contributed to this report.

 

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