- Associated Press - Tuesday, April 22, 2014

SPRINGFIELD, Ohio (AP) - Police are urging people in a western Ohio community who know the 17-year-old suspect in the fatal shooting of a high school football player to persuade him to surrender.

“Anyone that can reason with this young man would ask him to turn himself in to the police division before there’s further violence,” Springfield police Chief Stephen Moody said. “We need this to come to a peaceful resolution and at this time, we are not sure that this is the direction we’re headed.”

Police have released the identity of the youth, who attended an alternative school. He is being sought in the weekend shooting death of 17-year-old Jeff Wellington, who police say was trying to be a peacemaker during an altercation in an apartment parking lot. Moody says Wellington knew the gunman.

The Associated Press is not naming the suspect because of his age.

The Springfield News-Sun reports (http://bit.ly/1ibnGNf ) that plans were being made for services and memorials for Wellington. Hundreds turned out for a candlelight vigil Sunday night.

“He is upstairs with his heavenly father,” his mother, Lakisha Cole, said Monday.

Classmates described Wellington as a positive influence who appeared to have a bright future. His coaches said he was attracting college football attention.

“Whoever did this, I want you to know the pain you sent to our family,” said Michael Minter, an older brother. “There is no healing this.”

Moody said Wellington was visiting friends at the apartment complex early Sunday when two other youths arrived and an argument broke out between one of the youths and one of Wellington’s friends. He said Wellington tried to calm the situation, but the gunman shot him once in the chest and fled. Wellington died after being flown to a hospital.


Information from: Springfield News-Sun, http://www.springfieldnewssun.com



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