Auburn University Shooting: Manhunt Continues for Suspect


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Auburn Police Division(AUBURN, Ala.) — Police are searching Monday morning for a 22-year-old Alabama man who they believe shot six people, killing three of them, at an off-campus party near Auburn University on Saturday.

Auburn, Ala., Police Chief Tommy Dawson said he signed three warrants charging Desmonte Leonard with capital murder.  He warned that Leonard should be considered “armed and extremely dangerous.”  Police are urging Leonard to turn himself in.

Dawson said on Sunday that he hoped to make an arrest at the end of the day.  Leonard was last seen on foot, and police believe he is still in Montgomery County.

Two former Auburn football players, Ladarious Phillips and Ed Christian, and another man identified as Demario Pitts died in the shooting.

Auburn football player Eric Mack, Xavier Moss and John Robertson were wounded, Dawson said.  Robertson was undergoing surgery for a gunshot wound to the head and “fighting for his life,” Dawson said.

All six victims were younger than 21.

“This is a trying time, not only university students and athletes, but it’s young people.  It’s six young people that have been shot.  As you can tell, the community is shaken by this and grieving today,” Dawson said, later saying that he was “sickened” by the tragedy.

The police chief said the only connection between the university football team and the shooting was that the players happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.

“Sometimes, the young men get a bad rap, I feel like, but they are the victims today,” Dawson said.  “Them being football players really has nothing to do with this.  They’re victims of a shooting.”

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