Candlelight vigil held for KSU quarterback killed in Florida

friends, family, and teammates of Ladarius ClardyFriends and teammates of Ladarius Clardy (photo by Arielle Robinson)

By Arielle Robinson

Coaches, teammates, relatives, friends and others who knew a Kennesaw State University quarterback recently killed gathered at one of KSU’s dorms for a candlelight vigil Monday night.

The vigil in honor of backup quarterback Ladarius Clardy was held at KSU’s Austin Residence Complex amphitheater. Around 80 people attended the candlelight ceremony.

KSU did not host the vigil — people close to Clardy did.

Friends and relatives approached the amphitheater stage to light candles that spelled out the quarterback’s initials along with his number on the football team. The crowd also released balloons into the sky.

Monday’s ceremony was a quiet one, where most of the time was spent silently remembering the quarterback, who was known to close friends and relatives as “LD.”

friends, family, and teammates of Ladarius Clardy
Friends, family, and teammates of Ladarius Clardy (photo by Arielle Robinson)

When the Courier approached KSU football coaches and Clardy’s friends and teammates, they preferred not to speak about the situation.

Clardy, an 18-year-old sophomore, was found dead last Thursday in his car by a bicyclist who called for a medic.

A 19-year-old passenger was also in the car that crashed.

The incident occurred in Clardy’s hometown of Pensacola, Florida. Clardy had arrived in the city just hours before he was killed.

In addition to the crash, someone shot into Clardy’s car about 50 times, Escambia County Sheriff Chip Simmons said in a press conference after the shooting. Most of the shots were fired into the driver’s door, where Clardy was.

Clardy died from gunshot wounds at the scene of the crime.

The passenger of the car was badly injured from gunshot wounds and taken to a hospital for surgery. Their status is unknown.

Although the Escambia County Sheriff’s Office has sought out three men for questioning, the sheriff’s department has not named any suspects and has made no arrests in Clardy’s killing.

The sheriff’s office announced on their Facebook page that they are looking for the driver of a 2014 black Ford Fusion. The department has seized the car and believes it was used in Clardy’s killing.

The sheriff’s office increased the reward for finding the person or persons who killed Clardy to $10,000, up from the original $5,000.

The sheriff advises people with information to call Crime Stoppers at 850-433-STOP.

To friends, teammates and family, Clardy was known for being a well-rounded individual.

At his Pensacola’s Pine Forest High School, Clardy was an honor student as well as an award-winning star quarterback who led his high school football team to numerous victories.

Multiple universities offered Clardy a chance to play football, but Clardy chose KSU and began playing there in 2020, according to KSU’s athletics website.

Clardy’s funeral will be held this Saturday at St. John Divine Missionary Baptist Church in Pensacola.