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3 wanted for questioning after KSU quarterback gunned down in Florida Panhandle

Three men were being sought for questioning after a Kennesaw State University football player was gunned down in his car in the Florida Panhandle early Thursday morning.

Taziah Dekal McHenry, 20, Melvin Douglas Hester III, 18, and Nicholas Joseph Wells, 19, were being sought by the Escambia County Sherriff’s Office. Investigators reiterated they are only wanted for questioning in connection to the shooting death of 18-year-old Ladarius Clardy.

Clardy, a Pensacola native, was found shot to death by a bicyclist after his car crashed down an embankment along W. Fairfield Drive near Hollywood Avenue just after midnight Thursday, Escambia County Sheriff Chip W. Simmons said. More than 50 rounds were fired into the driver's side door, the sheriff said.

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(Kennesaw State University)

The KSU backup quarterback was just in town for a few hours and was hanging out with a friend, only identified by the sheriff's office as a 19-year-old man, when the shooting happened, the sheriff said. That 19-year-old was rushed to an area hospital for treatment having also suffered multiple gunshot wounds.

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.

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Ladarius Clardy (Kennesaw State University)

Late Friday evening, the sheriff's office said investigators have spoken to Wells and he is no longer being sought by deputies.

No arrests have been made in the case and no suspects have been named.

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.

This story is being reported out of Atlanta

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