Auburn University shooting: Desmonte Leonard suspected


The police are searching for Desmonte Leonard in connection with a shooting on June 9, 2012 near Auburn University that left three people dead, including one current and two former football players. A fourth is in critical condition.


Kevin C. Cox

Police in Alabama are searching for Desmonte Leonard in connection with the shooting near Auburn University on Saturday which left three people dead, according to the Associated Press.

Leonard is accused of opening fire at a party in an apartment complex near the university after getting into a fight with some of the victims.

The Los Angeles Times said in addition to killing the three men, Leonard wounded three more, one of whom is in critical condition.

Edward Christian, Ladarious Phillips and Damario Pitts, all football players at Auburn, were pronounced dead. They were all 20 years old, and though Christian and Phillips were no longer players they were still students at the university.

Auburn Police Chief Tommy Dawson said, "I don't believe they were targeted; I believe there was a fight and someone got carried away and things went too far," according to The LA Times.

More on GlobalPost: Auburn, Ala., shootings: 3 dead

According to the AP, Leonard, 22, had previous arrests in connection with guns and was sued twice for child support.

A witness said he and a friend were approached by Leonard and another man who started arguing with them about a woman. After some punches were thrown, one of the attackers pulled a gun and started shooting, according to CBS News.

Coach Gene Chizik said, "We have a lot of people on our football team that are hurting right now and we're going to do everything we can to help them get through this," reported CBS News.

Police don not believe that the shooting had anything to do with the victims being on the football team, which won the national championship in 2010.

Dawson said Leonard got away in a white Chevrolet which was found abandoned 55 miles away, according to CBS News.