Family mourns 14-year-old fatally shot outside McDonald’s

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Published: Feb. 14, 2023 at 2:38 AM EST
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COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS/Gray News) - Police in South Carolina say a 14-year-old boy was fatally shot while trying to break up an argument between his brother and a fellow McDonald’s employee.

Police say 25-year-old Marcques Wright shot 14-year-old Jacob Russ in a McDonald’s parking lot in Sumter, South Carolina, following an argument with the victim’s brother.

According to police, the Sunday argument started in the restaurant between Wright and Jacob’s brother, both employees at the location. It continued into the parking lot, where Jacob and his mother were waiting to drive his brother home, WIS reports.

Investigators said the 14-year-old tried to break up the fight, which is when Wright allegedly pulled out a gun and shot the teen in the back.

Wright is charged with murder, attempted murder and unlawful possession of a weapon in connection to the incident.

Police said they don’t know what the argument was about.

Willie Russ, Jacob’s grandfather, used a few words to describe his grandson. He said the 14-year-old “loved basketball and worked out all the time.”

“Very sweet kid, quiet, and he’s going to be missed,” Willie Russ said. “A lot of the kids that live in the neighborhood know him. They love him.”

Jacob was a freshman at Sumter High School and played for the school’s basketball team. His grandfather said Jacob had big dreams of one day becoming a professional basketball player, but on Sunday, those dreams were shattered.

“It shocked the whole area,” he said. “It’s been very rough. It’s been a long night. My son is going through a lot, his wife, the kids. We’re all going through a lot right about now.”

Willie Russ said he also just recently lost a daughter to gun violence and said it has to stop.

Sumter County Coroner Robbie Baker said the investigation into Jacob’s death is still ongoing, and Wright could face more charges.

“He happened to be at the wrong place at the wrong time,” said Baker about Jacob.

He added that investigators are doing followups, talking to employees that were in the store and looking through possible video footage from adjacent stores.

Wright was taken to the Sumter Lee Regional Detention Center. A bond hearing has not yet been set.

WIS reports Wright has a long list of pending charges, one of which dates back to October 2022 for attempted murder.