Kansas teen paralyzed after girl’s dad shoots him over controversial ‘Senior Assassin’ trend in Walmart parking lot (2024)

A high school senior was left paralyzed from the waist down when a furious father shot him in a Walmart parking lot after the teen fired a toy gun at the man’s daughter as part of a controversial trend.

Anakin Zehring, 18, was in a car with two other males outside of a Walmart in Goddard, Kansas on May 11 when they spotted two teens walking towards the building and conducted a drive-by shooting with gel blasters, according to the Wichita Eagle.

A passenger inside the car shouted “I am your senior assassin” as the two teens — a girl and her boyfriend — were shot at multiple times with the water-filled polymer beads.

“Senior Assassin” is an elaborate game of tag, where participating high school seniors are given a “target” and are usually asked to record “tagging” their victims and posting it to social media off school grounds.


Most games consist of players using water guns, water balloons, or a gel blaster as seen in Zehring’s case.

Multiple police departments warned parents earlier this year that the nationwide game could have deadly consequences.

The couple claimed they were shot with several rounds of the beads before rushing inside to escape the shooting, according to KWCH.

Once inside, the girl called her father, Ruben Marcus Contreras, to tell him they were shot with the gel blasters and didn’t know who the teens were.

The girl’s boyfriend, named only as “GB” in the police affidavit of the incident, confronted the teens and was met with one of them using an expletive and “later told him to meet him out back of the Walmart,” the outlet reported.


The teen boys, who parked their car, attempted to enter the Walmart, but were kicked out and walked over to a nearby Dairy Queen.

When Contreras arrived at the store, his daughter pointed the teens out, who were getting back into their car, a Chevy Spark.

The furious father drove through the parking lot, as Zehring was backing out of the spot and confronted the teen, attempting to open the driver’s side door.


Contreras’ daughter, identified as “SC,” said she saw her father walking towards the car and put her head down “due to being scared of what might happen to her dad.”

The scared daughter heard a “loud pop” before watching the blue spark drive away and crash into shipping containers.

“(Contreras) runs back up to the driver’s side of the Spark and appears to pull out a firearm from the right side of his waistband,” a Sedgwick County Sheriff’s Office detective wrote in the affidavit, obtained by the Wichita Eagle.

“(Contreras) has the firearm in his right hand and sticks his right hand into the open window of the driver’s side back seat area. It is at this point (Contreras) fires one round into the vehicle.”

Contreras was armed with a 9mm Smith and Wesson handgun.

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In the affidavit, Zehring told police that he thought Contreras was just a pedestrian walking through the parking lot and only came to a stop for the crosswalk.

“Zehring said his ears starting ringing and realized he had been shot. Zehring says he turned to the west and realized he couldn’t feel his legs,” a detective wrote. “Zehring stated he hit a pole in the parking lot to get the Spark to stop because he didn’t want to hit anyone in the roadway.”

The Goddard High School graduate also told police that he wasn’t the one shooting the gel blaster, a claim that was contradicted as one of the passengers told authorities Zehring was the shooter.


The single shot left Zehring with severe injuries, as it “punctured his duodenum (upper part of the small intestine) and damaged his spinal cord, causing loss of sensation from the waist down,” his parents wrote on a GoFundMe.

“The bullet caused significant damage to his body, necessitating the fusion of his L1, L2, and L3 spinal bones,” Kenly Zehring and Jeremy Zehring added.

The teen was initially hospitalized at St. Francis in Wichita in critical condition before being transferred to Madonna Rehabilitation Facility in Omaha, Nebraska.



Contreras was arrested on May 15 and charged with attempted first-degree murder, according to KSN.

He was booked at the Sedgwick County Detention Facility on $300,000 bail and is currently out on bond.

Kansas teen paralyzed after girl’s dad shoots him over controversial ‘Senior Assassin’ trend in Walmart parking lot (2024)
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