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Kennesaw State QB Ladarius Clardy shot, killed in Florida


The Kennesaw State University family are in mourning after the tragic death of football team member Ladarius Clardy. The 18-year-old backup quarterback was killed in a shooting incident in his Florida hometown of Pensacola.

According to Pensacola news reports, Clardy and an unidentified 19-year-old male passenger were shot while in a car that later crashed into a large ditch in the city. Escambia County Sheriff Chip Simmons said in a news conference that Clardy was pronounced dead at the scene and that his car had been struck by at least 50 rounds. Clardy’s passenger was also shot, but survived, and is hospitalized. His condition is unknown at the present.

Per Simmons, Clardy had only returned to Pensacola from Georgia hours before the shooting. “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.” Simmons went on to say that they do have some leads in 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.”

Before he joined KSU, Clardy was a star football player for Pensacola’s Pine Forest High School. His record included 83 total touchdowns and throwing for nearly 6,000 yards in three seasons.

The rising sophomore became a member of the KSU Owls in spring 2020 and 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.


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