Lydell Hartford, Jr., was killed at his home in Waggaman, Louisiana, last week, according to the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office (JPSO). Authorities said that a 16-year-old friend of Hartford’s was playing with a gun and accidentally shot the promising young freshman linebacker for the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff (UAPB).
Glen T. Boyd, a spokesman for the JPSO, said that Hartford, 20, died from a gunshot wound he had suffered to the neck as a result of the accident.
According to police, Hartford and the teen friend were sitting inside a 2012 Chevrolet Camaro that belonged to Hartford’s mother. The car was in the driveway of the home. Boyd said the teen discovered a.38-caiber pistol inside the car and began taking out the bullets.
Hartford instructed the teen to stop, but was ignored as the teen continued unloading the bullets until he believed the gun to be empty. At that point, the boy squeezed the trigger “three or four times” until the pistol fired into Hartford’s neck.
The teen then pulled him from the car and laid him on the driveway, authorities stated. Hartford died close to an hour later, and the 16-year-old was booked for negligent homicide.
“It is a shock to us all,” said UAPB Chancellor Dr. Laurence Alexander in a press release. “We are saddened by the news of his death and offer our condolences, thoughts, and prayers to his family and friends during this difficult time.”
Hartford’s head coach Monte Coleman said the 20-year-old was “proud to be a part of the team — I am sad to see another young person leave this earth too soon. He will be missed.”
And UAPB Offensive Coordinator Eric Dooley, a fellow Louisiana native “well acquainted” with the family, said Lydell Hartford did everything asked of him on the field.
UAPB Defensive Coordinator Earl Buckingham agreed. “He was a good kid and loved being on the team … Our team is hurting and offers our condolences to his family and all those that knew him.”
Unfortunately, this is another in a long line of recent gun related accidents to take the life of a young person. Earlier this month, we told you about Jon Andrew Meyer, Jr., who was reportedly using a rifle as a crutch when the gun went off and fired into the apartment below, killing a five-year-old child.
There was also a similar incident in Louisiana in which a mother was charged with murder after her five-year-old daughter accidentally shot herself.
As for the Lydell Hartford, Jr., case, authorities are withholding the name of the shooter because he is a juvenile.
[Image via UAPB website]