Niceville, Florida was known for its peaceful environment and vibrant community spirit; yet an event occurred that left an indelible mark on residents: Mike Ledford aka Sushi Mike was tragically killed during an act of violence that has since galvanized its residents into showing support to his grieving family.
Niceville was rocked by violence on an otherwise tranquil Friday evening at precisely 7:58 p.m. when their police department received multiple 911 calls reporting an alarming situation near CVS convenience store on John Sims Parkway near Niceville. Responding officers encountered an extremely distressful scene where Mike Ledford had been discovered inside his truck with multiple stab wounds, even with immediate medical care administered from first responders and emergency medical personnel arriving quickly on scene; unfortunately Ledford ultimately succumbed to his injuries at Fort Walton Beach Medical Center before his funeral was scheduled.
As investigations into Ledford’s sudden and senseless death progressed quickly, police quickly arrested 24-year-old Dylan Deschaine – his own mother being the one to inform law enforcement of him being present – after only brief standoff. Following surrender to authorities he now faces multiple counts related to both Ledford’s killing as well as any potential charges from police encounters with Deschaine himself.
Ledford’s death left ripples that were felt across Niceville, as evidenced by his impactful presence. Renowned for his culinary passion and success with My Ohana food truck, Ledford was widely respected within his community. My Ohana had earned three consecutive “Best Food Truck on the Emerald Coast” awards – further cementing Ledford’s commitment to his craft and community. Ledford dreamed of expanding Post 20’s culinary footprint further while staying true to himself and community spirit.
After Ledford’s passing, an outpouring of support for his family was immediate and overwhelming. A GoFundMe campaign quickly raised $66,000 – testament to both their generosity and Ledford’s standing within his community. Ledford will be missed deeply not only by Loren and their three children but by an entire community that had accepted him as one of its own.
As our community mourns together, a wave of both financial and emotional support has come pouring in for Ledford’s family. Friends have rallied together, offering condolences, sharing memories, and participating in fundraising efforts so as to honor Ledford’s legacy and show our love for his loved ones.
As the Niceville Police Department and State Attorney’s Office continue their thorough investigations of Ledford’s death, community members remain hopeful for justice. Their dedication in unravelling events that led up to it reflects a collective will to bring accountability and closure for his family and friends.
Justice is central to the healing process for both those bereaved and for the entire Niceville community as a whole. It serves as a testament to its core values of unity, resilience and seeking out justice relentlessly.
How to Help
Niceville residents’ unity has been an inspiration during these trying times. Donations made to the Ledford family’s GoFundMe page continue to pour in, evidence of Niceville’s commitment to supporting one another during difficult times. Sharing memories of Ledford and his culinary creations helps serve as a constant reminder of his significant impact in Niceville.
Niceville’s response, marked by an outpouring of support and an all-out search for justice, illustrates its resilience and compassion. Even during times of troubled waters, the town has rallied behind Ledford’s family in honoring his memory and carrying forward his legacy of kindness, culinary excellence, and community spirit.
Niceville is reeling after the tragic loss of Mike Ledford has left an enormous void at its heart, as investigations and efforts to provide comfort to his loved ones continue. While remembering Ledford’s contributions remains a source of inspiration and rallying behind loved ones during this difficult period of mourning, Niceville shows strength and kindness that will allow it to overcome it and remember him not simply for how he died but how he lived.