Before Deveall "Mac" McClendon was shot to death Monday in his vehicle near Loring Park, the 25-year-old was getting ready to help the Minneapolis Warriors defend their title as semi-pro football champions.
Now, his family, friends and teammates are grieving the loss of McClendon, known as someone who "cared for other people and other people cared about him," Warriors President Krista Clausen said.
"There's a video I've probably watched a hundred times since yesterday where he literally gives his shoes off his feet to a guy who doesn't have any. I think that's very much a representation of who he was," she said.
The Hennepin County Medical Examiner identified McClendon on Tuesday as the shooting's victim. The incident took place around 1:15 a.m. in the area of Hennepin and Lyndale avenues and Vineland Place, on the western edge of downtown, police said. McClendon crashed into another vehicle after he was shot.
No arrests have been made in what is the city's seventh homicide this year.
Officers called to the scene found McClendon suffering from gunshot wounds. Responders provided aid until he was taken to HCMC, where he died. Two men in the other vehicle were uninjured.
Witnesses said they saw another vehicle speed away from the area after McClendon was shot.
McClendon was a fullback and defensive end for the Warriors in 2021, when the team won a championship. He was not on the team in 2022 but was set to rejoin for the spring 2023 season. Along with football, McClendon worked in private security, as did other players, Clausen said.
"As expected, people are not OK, our guys are not OK, and this is really close to home for them," Clausen said.
McClendon grew up in Augusta, Ga., and graduated in 2020 from Benedict College, a historically Black college in Columbia, S.C. He was on the dean's list as a senior.
"Thank you all for the prayers and sacrifices it took for me to complete this journey," McClendon said in a Facebook post following his graduation.
The Warriors, part of the Heartland Football Association, will hold a celebration of life for McClendon at 6 p.m. Thursday at the Commons in Minneapolis.
A throwback fan jersey featuring McClendon's nickname, "Mac," and his number, 34, will be available for purchase this Warriors season. Proceeds will go to McClendon's family to help cover the cost of his funeral, Clausen said. The team's first home game of the season also will be dedicated to McClendon.