Just over a month away from the start of a new season, the Arkansas-Pine Bluff football program is dealing with the kind of loss that can’t be overcome or undone.
Lydell Hartford Jr., a freshman linebacker at UAPB was killed on Tuesday morning according to a press release from the university.
The following is taken from a UAPB press release:
According to authorities, a 16-year-old boy identified as Hartford’s friend was playing with a gun and accidentally shot and killed him early Tuesday morning. Hartford, 20, was pronounced dead after suffering a gunshot wound to the neck, according to Glen T. Boyd, spokesman for the JPSO.
Hartford and the teen were in his mother’s 2012 Chevrolet Camaro, parked in the driveway of Hartford’s home, Boyd said. The teen discovered a .38-caiber pistol that also belonged to Hartford’s mother inside the car and began to remove the bullets. Hartford warned him to stop, but the teen ignored Hartford and kept unloading bullets until he thought the gun was empty. The boy squeezed the trigger three or four times until the pistol fired a bullet that hit Hartford in the neck. The teen pulled him out of the vehicle and laid him on the driveway. Hartford died about an hour later, Boyd said.
The 16-year-old boy was arrested and booked with negligent homicide. The Sheriff’s Office is not identifying the teen because he is a juvenile.
“It is a shock to us all,” said UAPB Chancellor Dr. Laurence Alexander. “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.”
“Our hearts and prayers really go out to Hartford and his family,” said Head Football Coach Monte Coleman.
“He 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.”