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Hardiman facing new murder charge

Jadon Hardiman

by Danny Wade

A Jackson, Tenn. man who is facing multiple charges including first degree murder, now has more charges filed against him. Jadon Hardiman is the alleged shooter during a high school basketball game where Justin Kevon Pankey was fatally shot last November.

Two other victims were also shot at the time. Xavier Clifton of Jackson was seriously injured, leaving him paralyzed. He was airlifted to Memphis the night of the shooting.

Clifton died from his injuries this past Sunday, March 6.

Dontavious Cross, also of Jackson also received a gunshot wound, and was taken to a local hospital and later released.

Hardiman was originally charged with 1st degree murder, attempted 1st degree murder with serious bodily injury, attempted 1st degree murder, armed dangerous felon (three counts), tampering with evidence and carrying a weapon (gun) on school property.

Now with Clifton’s death, Hardiman is facing an additional charge of 1st degree felony murder. Warrants and charges were filed Monday morning in Humboldt.

The incident took place on November 30 during the Humboldt Vikings and North Side Indians basketball game in Humboldt. According to court documents, video surveillance showed Hardiman and Pankey getting into an altercation in the lobby concession stand area. Hardiman pulled a gun and shot Pankey. As Hardiman fled the scene, he pointed the gun toward the crowded lobby area and shot at least two more times, seriously injuring Clifton and also hitting Cross.

During a press conference after the shooting, Dr. Janice Epperson, superintendent of Humboldt City Schools said, “This was not a school shooting, but instead an unforeseen incident at an athletic event that turned tragic.”

During the press conference, District Attorney Frederick Agee said his office will prosecute the case to the fullest extent of the law and will make sure Hardiman never walks as a free man again.

Hardiman’s bond was set at $1.5 million but days later a special session of the Grand Jury revoked his bond. He is being held in the Gibson County Criminal Complex.

Hardiman was set to have a preliminary hearing on Friday, March 11 but was rescheduled to Friday, April 22 at 9:30 a.m. in Trenton.

“Our highest priority is focused on prosecuting violent crime,” DA Agee said. “Our thoughts and prayers go out to the Clifton family.”

This case is still an active investigation and anyone with additional information is asked to call the Humboldt Police Department at 731-784-1322.

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