A rising college football quarterback was killed when a barrage of 50 bullets was fired into his car, causing him to crash at a Florida intersection, authorities said.
Ladarius Clardy, an 18-year-old who played in two games for Georgia’s Kennesaw State University last year, was set to return for his sophomore season before he was gunned down Thursday as he drove in Pensacola, WAGA-TV reported.
“Someone fired over 50 rounds into the car, most of them into the car, the driver’s door,” Escambia County Sheriff Chip Simmons said.
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The 6-foot, 170-pound KSU backup quarterback and Pensacola native was killed just hours after arriving in town and picking up a friend, who was also shot, the station reported.
Eric Young, 19, remained in critical condition Thursday, after being struck multiple times throughout his body. The gunfire “happened out of nowhere,” Young’s mother, Donneisha, recalled him telling her, WEAR-TV reported.
The wounded teen, who played football with Clardy at Pensacola’s Pine Forest High School, is expected to make a full recovery, his mother said. She refused to go on camera out of fear of retaliation, WEAR-TV reported.
No arrests have been made yet and it is unclear if the pair were the intended target or what motivated the attack.
A $10,000 reward is being offered for info leading to a break in the investigation, the Escambia County Sheriff’s Office said Tuesday.
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Clardy graduated from Pine Forest in 2020, leaving as the school’s all-time leading passer, the Pensacola News Journal reported.
“He had it all,” former Pine Forest head coach Jason McDonald told the newspaper. “From elementary to middle and high school, you couldn’t say enough about him … He was a natural-born leader.”
Meanwhile, deputies located a black 2014 Ford Fusion believed to have been used by the shooters, but were working Tuesday to get more details on its whereabouts before and during the homicide.
Three men who had been sought for questioning had been tracked down, authorities said Friday.
“He was a great individual,” Clardy’s father, LaDaron Clardy, told WKRG. “A great kid with a great personality … He was my everything. He was more than a son.”
Clardy was majoring in cybersecurity at Kennesaw in suburban Atlanta, WKRG reported, and had dreams of one day playing in the NFL.
“He had plans to play at the next level after college or go into his degree,” LaDaron Clardy said. “He had dreams to open up different types of businesses that I plan to keep on and keep his legacy going.”
Kennesaw State released a statement Thursday sending its “deepest condolences” to Clardy’s family.
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“We are devastated and heartbroken over the death of Ladarius Clardy,” KSU head football coach Brian Bohannon said.
“Ladarius was an excellent teammate and left a mark on this program with his positive attitude. He will be deeply missed. Our thoughts and prayers are with Ladarius’ family at this difficult time.”