NATCHITOCHES, La. (KTAL/KMSS) — The family of slain football player Ronald “Ronnie” Caldwell Jr. was joined by their legal representation to discuss systemic failures they believe contributed to the death of their son.
The parents say three days before Caldwell Jr was slain, he contacted his father, saying that his roommate threatened him with a gun.
Caldwell Sr. subsequently contacted Coach Laird, who he said assured him that Ronnie, Jr. would be ‘moved immediately.’
On October 2, Caldwell Sr. was called by Laird, saying Ronnie, Jr. was dead.
The family called into question the safety of the off-campus housing apartment complex, which contains a mix of students and non-students.
Caldwell’s mother, Blanche Caldwell, called it senseless and preventable.
As an educator, she believes Ronnie’s claims of threats should have been taken more seriously by Laird, saying he did not properly escalate the threat of gun violence.
“There was nothing put in place to protect my son. The school failed to protect my son.”
She tearfully made a plea to the school that students should return from college bigger and better – “Not the way that my son came back.”
The family is calling for increased security measures on campus.
The attorney for the family would not give details of the lawsuit. They did confirm that they are preparing a suit that would involve all parties, including the university, the apartment complex’s management company, and any other entities that may have culpability in Caldwell, Jr.’s death.
The claim is that the university failed to act.
Caldwell Sr. described his son as a sweet and helpful young man who loved people and tried to do the right thing.
The family and their attorney re-iterated that Ronnie, although injured, served as a player-coach for the defense and a mentor to young people in Natchitoches.
“The coach and the football team came to the funeral, but that’s the jist of it. We have not heard from them since then. That’s why it was such a surprise when the coach resigned and the season was canceled,” the family’s attorney said who called it a ‘strange situation.’
The beloved 21-year-old NSU Demon football player was found suffering multiple gunshot wounds on October 12 around 1:08 a.m.
He was pronounced dead on the scene.
A former teammate was arrested for in connection with Ronnie’s murder.