'He had just left my house': Family friend fondly remembers KSU quarterback

A Kennesaw State University football player was killed after more than four dozen shots were fired at his car in the Florida Panhandle late last week.

Ladarius Clardy, a Pensacola native, was found by medics after being flagged down by a bicyclist who saw his car crash down an embankment along W. Fairfield Drive near Hollywood Avenue just after midnight Thursday, Escambia County Sheriff Chip W. Simmons said.

"Someone fired over 50 rounds into the car, most of them into the car door, the driver's door," the sheriff said.

"Prayer can get us through it," said family friend Jada Floyd. "This really broke the city. Everybody, a lot of people in the city loved LD. He was just…He was a star." 

The 18-year-old backup quarterback for KSU had just come to town a couple of hours before this and he was with a friend of his. That friend was only identified by investigators as a 19-year-old passenger who was also suffered multiple gunshot wounds and had to undergo surgery.

"He had just left my house, well, my auntie’s house because she lives next door. And I was just talking to him and I was telling him about my birthday celebration on Tuesday. And he’s like ‘I’m gonna be there for sure if I can,’' said Floyd.

Clardy was known in Pensacola for being an honor student and having a "bright athletic future" having played football for his hometown team at Pine Forest High School before signing to the Kennesaw State Owls in 2019.

"Football has always been important to him," said Floyd. "He was humble. He stayed to himself. He wasn’t for the streets."

(Kennesaw State University)

Floyd said it has been a very difficult time for family and friends.

"I can’t sleep at night. It’s just eating me up," she said.

Floyd also echoed what many investigators had been saying about the case for days.

"I don’t know why we have to use guns nowadays but it’s getting out of hand because they killed somebody so innocent. He didn’t do anything to nobody" 

The Escambia County Sheriff's Office on Friday requested the public's help in finding three men investigators wanted to talk to about Clardy's death. Investigators over the weekend said they have since met with all three.

Ladarius Clardy (Kennesaw State University)

No arrests have been made and no suspects have been named in the case. Investigators are reviewing surveillance videos from the area to try to piece together a timeline of events.

A $5,000 reward is being offered for information that leads to the arrest and indictment in the case, the sheriff said. Anyone with information can call Crime Stoppers at 850-433-STOP or the ECSO at 850-436-9620.

A vigil will be held on the KSU campus on Monday at 8 p.m.

This story is being reported out of Atlanta

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