Two former Auburn football players confirmed dead in shooting

By Melody Kitchens

The Auburn Plainsman, Auburn U. via UWIRE

Two former Auburn football players confirmed dead in shooting

Former Auburn football players Ed Christian, Ladarious Phillips and Auburn resident Demario Pitts were shot and killed Saturday night at the University Heights apartment complex on West Longleaf Drive.

22-year-old Desmonte Leonard of Montgomery is confirmed to be the suspect of the shooting, according to Auburn police.

A warrant for three counts of capital murder has been issued.

Leonard is accused of shooting Xavier Moss, John Robertson and Auburn football player Eric Mack.

In a statement made to espn.com, Gene Chizik said, “I am devastated by the passing of three young men, including two that I personally knew in Ed Christian and Ladarious Phillips and my heart goes out to their families.”

Moss was released from East Alabama Medical Center, and Robertson is currently in critical condition at the University of Alabama at Birmingham.

Mack is being treated for a non-life threatening condition at the East Alabama Medical Center.

Leonard “is considered to be armed and dangerous,” said Police Chief Tommy Dawson.

Leonard’s vehicle, a white Chevrolet Caprice, was found in Macon County off of Wire Road.

Dawson said he believes Leonard is on foot in Montgomery.

U.S. Marshalls and local police officials are conducting an active manhunt for Leonard.

Dawson confirmed two other persons of interest involved in the shooting. Their identities were not released at today’s press conference, but Dawson said they are not Auburn students.

Dawson had no comment on additional evidence or Leonard’s motive.

“Not appropriate at this time,” Dawson said.

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