‘More than a son’: Ladarius Clardy’s father opens up about 18-year-old’s murder

Northwest Florida

ESCAMBIA COUNTY, Fla. (WKRG) — It’s been less than a week since former Pine Forest High School student Ladarius Clardy was killed by unknown suspects. 

The Escambia County Sheriff’s Office says Clardy was shot at more than 50 times before his car crashed in a ravine off Fairfield Drive early Thursday morning. 

The 18-year-old was smart, a positive influence, and ready to get in the quarterback rotation at Kennesaw State University this fall, but his life was taken too soon at the hands of “senseless violence,” his father LaDaron Clardy told WKRG News 5 Tuesday. 

“He was a great individual. A great kid with a great personality,” he said. “A lot of people see the sports side but Ladarius — he’d always keep A/B honor roll. He was an A/B honor roll student through school the whole time, including college.” 

The elder Clardy said he and his son were close — often taking the time to talk on the phone about their dreams. 

“We talked every morning, whether I called him or he called me — whether it was a text message or a FaceTime — just to motivate each other,” he said. “Just the small things; the simple things. He was my everything. He was more than a son.” 

Ladarius Clardy, or LD for short, was majoring in cyber security at Kennesaw State and planned to start his own businesses, his father said. He also aspired to play in the NFL, but those dreams were cut short by several pulls of a trigger.

“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.” 

To start, he is selling T-shirts in honor of LD at his shop Warrington Sports Wear at 2400 West Michigan Avenue. Many who knew Lardarius were stopping by the shop Tuesday to pay their respects and order a shirt. 

“To hear what happened — 18 years old — and they way it happened. That hit here man,” said Marquis Capell, as he patted his chest. Capell coached against LD since he was in youth football.

“It rocked the community.” 

As the investigation continues to find out who killed his son, LaDaron Clardy said he’s begging those responsible to come forward so he and his family can begin to heal. 

“It’s already hard enough as it is,” the elder Clardy said. 

In the meantime, he plans to pray and ask God for peace. 

“I love you son, and I got your back like always,” he said. “I miss you so much. I’d do anything to see you again.” 

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