OPELIKA, Ala. — Two teens have been arrested in connection to a weekend murder in Opelika of 19-year-old Ladarius Cardwell.
Both 16-year-old Tykeith D. Webb of Auburn 16-year-old Kevon Smith of Opelika were arrested on Saturday and are charged with murder.
As News 3 reported, Opelika police received a call reporting a gunshot victim in the 100 block of Easy street around 1:20 a.m. on Saturday, August 12. When officers and EMS arrived on the scene, they discovered 19-year-old Ladarius Marquise Cardwell, of Opelika, with no signs of life with what appeared to be a gunshot injury.
Cardwell was pronounced dead at the scene by Lee County Coroner Bill Harris. The death is being investigated as a homicide by the Opelika Police Department. Cardwell was transported to the Alabama Department of Forensic Sciences medical examiner’s office in Montgomery for a postmortem examination.
This makes the 17th homicide investigated by the Lee County Coroner’s office for 2017.
Opelika Mayor Gary Fuller said there are the community has made tremendous strides over the years, but violence is it a punch to the gut of the community. He and Greater Peace Baptist Church Pastor, Clifford Jones, said there is no clear answer to stopping the violence, but said prayer and mentoring young men in the community are tremendous places to start.
“I’m talking about responsible adults, whether they are folks who work in a factory, work in an office, responsible men who know how to be a man working with these young boys particularly,” Mayor Fuller said.
“I know prayer is one of the answers that can be applied to the issues and the problem, but, we also as a community, as a people, we have to move back into caring for one another and controlling who we are rather than allowing someone else to,” Rev. Jones said.