CEDAR PARK, Texas - Cedar Park Police Chief Sean Mannix says on Saturday night officers responded to a “shots fired” call on Savanna Lane.
Police say they found 41-year-old Adam Shane Ladner in the front yard of a home with possible gunshot wounds.
“Officers unsuccessfully engaged in life-saving measures and Mr. Ladner was pronounced deceased at 11:30 pm,” Mannix said.
Mannix says they believe Ladner was shot by homeowner Larry Wayne Smith. He says there was an altercation stemming from a noise dispute.
Officers had just paid Ladner a visit eight minutes prior to the shooting.
“It wasn’t amplified music or anything like that but a complaint that they were talking too loudly,” Mannix said.
64-year-old Smith is in the Williamson County Jail charged with Ladner’s murder. In his mugshot there are obvioius inuries. But details about what happened are proving hard to come by for investigators.
“We do believe that there was a physical altercation that is still subject to investigation. Mr. Smith has declined to make any statement to this point and we look forward to his version of events after consultation with his attorney,” he said.
Mannix says same goes for others in the Smith household: waiting for legal counsel before talking to police.
“Please keep in mind the two primary actors in this...one is deceased and one is excercising a constitutionally protected provision,” Mannix said.
Ladner was a beloved girls athletics coach at Leander ISD. This year at Running Brushy Middle School, Coach Ladner was coaching volleyball and soccer in addition to teaching some leadership courses.
“He’s the guy that always goes the extra mile, was always there, staying late and making sure that kid’s needs were taken care of,” said Brushy Principal Jim Rose.
Rose has been a friend and colleague of Ladner for nearly a decade.
“If he were standing here he’d be in the background shouting out jokes to make us laugh and that’s what Adam is all about,” he said.
Rose says students are taking the lead with memorials. Which he says speaks to who Coach Ladner was.
“In fact this morning as kids were coming in the building I had a student stop me and say ‘Hey Mr. Rose is it okay if I pass out some silver ribbons just in rememberance of Coach Ladner?’ So of course I said ‘yeah but as long as I get one,’” Rose said.
Rose says one student athlete came to him with another idea.
“He said if I can get a basketball and have all the girls sign it since he was a girl’s coach, I’d like to give that to his little girl,” Rose said.
He says the mood on campus is numb. Faculty met Monday morning before students arrived. And counselors have been on campus for the students.
As for the murder investigation and the many questions surrounding it, Rose says he’s trying to focus on the students and staff.
“At the end of the day it seems pretty senseless. And we’ve lost a great individual, a great educator and a fantastic father. And that’s the sad part,” Rose said.