Desmonte Leonard sought as suspect in Auburn shooting

  • By Wire Reports
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Authorities continued to search Monday for a gunman suspected of killing three people and wounding three others in a weekend shooting at a pool party near Auburn University that a witness said began with a fight over a woman.

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Two of the slain victims were former players for the school's powerhouse football program.

Authorities were searching for Desmonte Leonard, 22, of Montgomery, who is accused of opening fire Saturday night at an apartment complex after getting into a fight with some of the victims over a woman. He faces three counts of capital murder.

Leonard was previously arrested on charges involving guns and twice sued for child support, according to court records.

Auburn (Ala.) Police Chief Tommy Dawson said Leonard fled the scene in a white Chevrolet that he abandoned on the way back to Montgomery, about 55 miles away. They believed he was in the Montgomery area.

Of the three wounded victims, John Robertson remained in critical condition after being shot in the head. Xavier Moss was released from the hospital. The third wounded victim was Eric Mack, a current football player who was also released from the hospital Sunday, according to

Edward Christian, who had to quit the team because of a lingering back injury, and Ladarious Phillips, who had previously quit playing football, were both killed, along with 20-year-old Demario Pitts.

Mack told The Times and Democrat that when he was first shot, he "didn't even really realize it. I was still walking around checking on my teammates making sure they were all right."

"I just couldn't believe it," he said. "It just seemed unreal. Even now, it still seems unreal. I couldn't believe it."

Dawson told that Robertson was "fighting for his life" on Sunday.

Auburn police said the weekend shootings didn't appear to have anything to do with some of the victims being former or current players on the football team, which won the national championship in 2010.

"The only connection that the Auburn football team has to this is they are victims of a brutal shooting. Sometimes the young men get a bad rap, I feel like, but they are the victims today," Dawson said Sunday.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.



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