Former Pine Forest star quarterback murdered in Pensacola

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PENSACOLA, Fla. (WKRG) – Investigators with the Escambia County Sheriff’s Office are working to make an arrest in the shooting death of a former star quarterback at Pine Forest High School.

Ladarius Clardy, 18, was the school’s all-time leading passer.

“Today is a sad day for Pensacola,” Escambia County Commissioner Lumon May said.

Clardy just graduated in 2020 and was an honors student. He moved on to play football at Kennesaw State University in Georgia. Clardy was shot and killed inside his car just after midnight at Fairfield Drive and Hollywood Avenue.

“Over fifty rounds fired into his vehicle that he was driving,” Sheriff Chip Simmons said.

Reverend Joseph Marshall has been comforting Clardy’s family and asks everyone to keep them in their prayers.

“In my 25 years of pastoring, I must say that this is one of the most extreme cases that leaves you utterly speechless,” Marshall said.

Simmons said a 19-year-old man in the passenger seat was also shot. He had surgery Thursday morning. Simmons said his office is doing everything they can to make an arrest.

“This case cannot go unsolved,” Simmons said. “There’s a family that’s grieving. There’s a community that’s grieving.”

They are following some leads but they need more information from the public.

“Enough is enough,” Simmons said. “We cannot sit here and just keep saying ‘oh another senseless act of violence’ so we need your help. We want to know what you know. There’s enough people around this town who know what happened.”

Kennesaw State Head Football Coach Brian Bohannon released the following statement:

“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 reward of up to $5,000 is offered for information leading to an arrest if you call Crime Stoppers at (850) 433-STOP.

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