Father of LA Lakers player shot and killed in Germantown

GERMANTOWN (WPVI) -- Action News has learned that a man shot and killed over the weekend in the Germantown section of Philadelphia was the father of a Los Angeles Lakers basketball player.

The victim, identified as 57-year-old Wayne Ellington Sr., was found slumped behind the wheel of a car in the 5200 block of Marion Street at 8:00 p.m. Sunday.

His car had hit two parked vehicles. He was taken to Einstein Medical Center in critical condition and died several hours later.

Ellington Sr. is the father of LA Lakers guard Wayne Ellington Jr., who is from Philadelphia.

"He said, 'Ball hard! Get this first win tonight," said Ellington.

Ellington Jr. reflects on the text message he received right before his NBA game on Sunday.

It was from his biggest fan - his father.

"He played a huge role in me playing basketball, he put me in a league at 5 years old," said Ellington Jr.

The Lakers went on to win that game Sunday but after the victory Ellington Jr. received the worst news ever - his dad had been fatally shot.

"I'm devastated. For a son to lose his father is very tough, it's unbelievable. It's crazy, I went from a high to the lowest point of my life," he said.

Ellington Sr.'s wife of 34 years got the news over the phone.

"I could hear crying, screaming and crying in the background so I knew it wasn't good news. They called me back to let me know that it was worse than what we thought," said Elaine Ellington.

Homicide detectives are investigating the shooting as a murder.

"He was smart, he was funny and he loved his family a lot," said Stephanie Ellington, victim's sister.

Ellington Jr. was a standout basketball player at Episcopal Academy High. The hometown hero then went on to North Carolina to play before being drafted into the NBA - making his father proud.

The basketball star is now on leave from the Lakers to grieve with his family as they hope to get answers.

"It's going to come out, it always does. Philly is not that big of a place, people talk. Whoever did this is going to get what they deserve," said Ellington Jr.

Lakers General Manager Mitch Kupchak released a statement saying:

"Our players are upset for their friend and teammate. Additionally, ownership and all Lakers employees are also saddened by this tragedy. Those of us who work with and have gotten to know Wayne have come to know what a wonderful and caring person he is. Our hearts go out to Wayne and his family, as do our thoughts and prayers."

Meanwhile, police say so far there are no known suspects or a possible motive.
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