The Cox Pradia Law Firm of Houston and its publicist have distributed a media advisory announcing a press conference today at 1:30, streamed live on Facebook (WATCH HERE), on behalf of the family of slain Northwestern State football player Ronnie Caldwell Jr.
Caldwell was shot to death early on Oct. 12 at the Quad Apartment Complex in Natchitoches. He was a junior safety on the NSU football team and a business administration major from Austin, Texas.
Thursday, in the wake of the tragedy, the university announced it was cancelling the remaining four games of the NSU football season, and also announced the resignation of head football coach Brad Laird.
This morning’s statement, issued at 6:41 a.m., from the Caldwell family’s legal counsel follows (boldface type is from the law firm’s statement):
“Family of slain football player Ronnie Caldwell Jr. to hold press conference in the wake of Northwestern State University Head Football Coach Brad Laird resignation, announcing legal team and pending litigation.
“Caldwell Family statement
“The Caldwell family is heartbroken as we recover from the process of laying our dear Ronnie to rest this past weekend. We ask that you continue to cover our family in prayer as forge ahead through this tragedy and live a life without our beloved son. We would like to share some background on the events that led up to the final days of Ronnie’s life and what we believe to be the cause of the resignation of Northwestern State University (Natchitoches, Louisiana) Head Football Coach Brad Laird.
“Due to mold in his unit at The Quad Apartment Complex, Ronnie was moved away from his original football teammate and roommate, was relocated to a new apartment within the same complex. The Quad Apartments are owned and managed by Campus Advantage, headquartered in Austin, Texas. Ronnie was somehow placed with a new roommate, who was a non-university non-college student. He also had previous run ins with law enforcement. Guns and drugs were subsequently discovered in the new roommate’s possession upon his arrest.
“After a series of verbal altercations, Ronnie’s new roommate pulled a gun on him on October 9th. Ronnie immediately reported this to his parents. Ronnie’s father immediately sent a text to Northwestern State Head Football Coach Brad Laird alerting him that he needed help and that Ronnie’s roommate had pulled a gun on him. Coach Laird replied with a phone call assuring the family that he would take immediate action and move Ronnie to a safe location. Nothing was done, the family heard no updates from the University. The next call the family received was from Coach Brad Laird telling us that Ronnie had been murdered. Three days after his cry for help, Ronnie was shot and killed at his apartment. According to local reports, his roommate was arrested on gun and drug possession charges. There is much more to this story than what has been widely reported. There were warnings. This was a senseless tragedy that could have been prevented.
“Northwestern State University failed one of its students and one of its star athletes. The coaches of ALL collegiate athletes have a huge responsibility to keep the athletes under their care safe and to make sure that they are thriving in their university environment. With families often being thousands of miles away, the coaches and the university staff are often the first line of defense to keep these children safe. We are speaking out now amid our extreme pain to ensure this doesn’t happen to another student athlete, so Ronnie’s life can live on through a greater purpose.
“Please direct all media inquiries and interview requests for the legal team & the family to Publicist and Family Spokesperson
Contact: Andrea Odom 713-894-5210