Minneapolis police found Deveall McClendon dead behind the wheel of his Dodge Charger early in the morning of Feb. 6, 2023, following a report of gunshots and a crash along Lyndale Avenue south of downtown.

More than a year later, after charges were brought against a suspect but later dismissed, the family of the slain semipro football player is still looking for answers.

"We want justice," said the shooting victim's father, Derek McClendon.

The Hennepin County Attorney's Office dismissed its second-degree murder charge against Clyde Mack Lee III on March 26, citing insufficient evidence to prove the case beyond a reasonable doubt. The family said they are angered by the dismissal, arguing there was enough evidence for a conviction, with location data allegedly showing the suspect traveled in the same path as the car used in the shooting.

"It felt like a total slap in the face," said Laleta McClendon, mother of Deveall McClendon.

McClendon, who played for the Minneapolis Warriors football team, died in a drive-by shooting in the area of Hennepin and Lyndale avenues and Vineland Place near Loring Park. Investigators checked surveillance cameras and determined McClendon was driving south beside a Chevrolet Malibu on Lyndale when it struck a Toyota car near Vineland and the Malibu fled. Witnesses said they heard gunshots moments before the crash.

The family says they will now be pushing for new charges.

"We've been putting fire under their feet, and I'm going to continue to do so," Laleta McClendon said.

In a statement, the Hennepin County Attorney's Office said it will continue to work with the Minneapolis Police Department to build sufficient evidence to hold "anyone involved in this murder accountable for their actions."

"Mr. McClendon's family is experiencing unimaginable pain and we are deeply sorry for their loss," the office said. "We have had close contact with them throughout this process and will continue to as the investigation into this senseless tragedy continues."

Police said they believe two firearms were used in the fatal shooting because they recovered two 10-millimeter and four 9-millimeter casings. Police located the Malibu days later and its owner, a man other than Lee, who said only he and his girlfriend had access to the car.

Investigators said the 10 mm casings found in the vehicle matched those found at the homicide scene. The casings also matched with a firearm used in a June 2022 shooting in Minneapolis. The charges say SnapChat videos shows Lee near the 2022 shooting the day it happened, and later holding a gun.

But in a motion to oppose the state collecting a DNA mouth swab from Lee, defense attorneys with the Hennepin County Public Defender's Office argued that probable cause was never established to charge Lee. The defense called the swab request a "fishing expedition" by the prosecution.

The prosecution argued Lee's SnapChat account and its location data tied him to the crime. The charges said Lee's SnapChat location data tracked "identically" with the Malibu at the time of the shooting.

The defense, however, said the data never showed him getting closer than a half-mile of the shooting. The defense also argued the SnapChat account being active shows only that the account was active on a device in the vehicle, and not that he was actually there.

McClendon's family also took issue with there being no more arrests in the incident. Derek McClendon said he didn't understand why the owner of the Malibu used in the shooting was not charged.

Lee's attorney did not return calls seeking comment. He has no violent criminal record in Minnesota.

In the last years of his life, Deveall played for the Minneapolis Warriors, a semiprofessional football team, and helped them win a championship. He was also a part-time security guard and bodyguard.

Just before his death, Deveall and his father were talking about going on a vacation to Egypt together, his father said. He noted that he and his son looked very much alike, and that he coached him in football growing up.

"My wife recently sent a picture of me and him together; we looked like twins," Derek McClendon said.

There was an outpouring of support and sadness in McClendon's home state of Georgia following his death. About 700 people attended his funeral, said his father, a longtime police officer and football coach. He added that he is considering taking legal action against the County Attorney's Office over the handling of the case.

His parents said they are confident the shooting was random and that their son was never involved in anything that would have led to someone killing him.

"Everybody was devastated because of how his character was," Derek McClendon said.

McClendon's sister, Sade, described him as "bubbly" and said the two never argued.

"He was a hugger, very intimate, and the one that kind of just kept everybody close-knit," she said.