Ladarius Clardy, a backup quarterback for the Kennesaw State football team, was killed in a shooting overnight Wednesday in his Florida hometown.
According to WEAR TV in Pensacola, the 18-year-old Clardy was found dead with several gunshot wounds early Thursday in a car that crashed into a large ditch in the city.
An unidentified 19-year-old male passenger was hospitalized, with his condition unknown as of Thursday afternoon.
Escambia County Sheriff Chip Simmons said in a news conference that more than 50 rounds were shot into Clardy’s vehicle.
“We’re trying to find as many witnesses and video surveillances as we can,” Simmons said. “Enough is enough. We cannot just sit here and say, ‘Oh, this is just another senseless act of violence.’ So we need your help. We want to know what you know. There’s enough people around this town that know what happened. ... We do have some leads.”
Simmons said Clardy had only returned to Pensacola from Georgia hours before the shooting.
Kennesaw State officials addressed Clardy’s death Thursday with a short statement on the university’s athletic website.
“Kennesaw State has been made aware of this tragic incident,” the statement said. “We send our deepest condolences and prayers to the loved ones of Ladarius Clardy.
“We are committed to providing support and resources for our student-athletes and staff during this difficult time.”
In a separate statement, Kennesaw State football coach Brian Bohannon said, “We are devastated and heartbroken over the death of Ladarius Clardy. 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.”
A graduate of Pensacola’s Pine Forest High School, where he accounted for 83 touchdowns and threw for nearly 6,000 yards in three seasons, Clardy was a rising sophomore at Kennesaw State, originally joining the program as a member of the Owls’ spring 2020 signing class.
He appeared in two games during the team’s spring 2021 season, carrying the ball one time for 7 yards in a 35-0 win over Robert Morris.
Clardy was one of five quarterbacks listed on Kennesaw State’s roster for the fall.