College football quarterback Ladarius Clardy killed after 50 shots fired into car
The Kennesaw State University athlete was gunned down last week but no arrests have yet been made
A Pensacola community has been rocked by gun violence after a beloved college quarterback was fatally shot last week while he was driving on a busy road.
Ladarius “LD” Clardy,18, a quarterback at Kennesaw State University, appears to have been targeted after he left a friend’s house and his car was sprayed with bullets at the intersection of West Fairfield Drive and Hollywood Avenue, the Escambia County Sheriff’s Office said in a press release, PEOPLE reports.
“Someone fired over 50 rounds into the car, most of them into the car door, the driver’s door,” Sheriff Chip Simmons said at a press conference.
In the early morning hours on Thursday, deputies responding to the scene found Clardy and a male passenger, Eric Young ,19, suffering from multiple gunshot wounds inside a black Honda Accord that had crashed in a ravine in a wooded area, per the report.
Clardy was pronounced dead at the scene. Young was transported to a local hospital, where he underwent surgery Thursday.
“I never thought I’d be on this side,” Clardy’s father, Ladaron Clardy, told the Pensacola News Journal.
As of Friday, Young remained hospitalized but conscious, according to Ladaron.
“He’s talking now. So we’re just praying that he recovers,” he said. “Eric means a lot to me also. All these kids in the community mean a lot to me.
“I want to see the kids in the community win. Stop seeing us kill each other.”
No arrests have been made in the case, but the ECSO posted on Facebook Friday that three individuals were questioned about the shooting: Taziah Dekal McHenry, 20, Melvin Douglas Hester III, 18, and 19-year-old Nicholas Joseph Wells. None have been arrested, and there are no further details about their connection to the murder, if any.
Clardy graduated from Pine Forest in 2020 and was a quarterback at NCAA Division I FCS Kennesaw State University, per the Pensacola News Journal.
“This is not someone who is a loose kid out there running the streets,” Pastor Joseph Marshall of St. John Divine Missionary Baptist Church said at the press conference. “His family is very active. He attends our church, youth department, singing, participating in our entire youth department. I can’t express enough.”
“This really broke the city,” family friend Jada Floyd told Fox5 Atlanta about Clardy’s death. “Everybody, a lot of people in the city loved LD. He was just. … He was a star.”
“I don’t know why we have to use guns nowadays but it’s getting out of hand because they killed somebody so innocent,” she said.
“(LD) made a great impact and was successful in everything that he did,” Clardy’s father said. “Whether that’s football, track, baseball, the classroom. … He was given a chance to live his dream of being a college football player.
“He earned the chance to have a full-ride college scholarship. He lived life like a young king, I can say that.”
Police continue to search for the killer(s).
A $5K reward is being offered for information that leads to arrests in the case.
Tipsters should call Crime Stoppers at 850-433-STOP or the ECSO at 850-436-9620.
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