Report: Two Former Auburn Football Players Shot To Death
It appears a tragedy has befallen Auburn University and two former members of their football team have been killed. WSFA reported on the shooting less than an hour ago:
Sources confirm to WSFA 12 News that there are multiple victims involved in a shooting that occurred late Saturday evening at an apartment complex in Auburn.
View postWSFA 12 News has a crew on the scene and is working to share as much information as can be confirmed. We can’t release any information regarding victims, suspects, a motive or details about the case at this time, as they are all unconfirmed.
The shooting happened at the University Heights apartment complex. Authorities on scene are only confirming that multiple victims are involved. A specific number has not been stated.
Police also say they’re searching for a suspect. Details on that search are unknown.
And the Times and Democrat is now reporting two former football players and one current football player are among the victims:
Two former Auburn players have reportedly been shot to death early Sunday morning in Auburn.
According to KSLA, the shooting took place at University Heights apartment complex and authorities are confirming that there were multiple victims.
An unofficial report from the Auburn Plainsman, the campus newspaper from Auburn University, has said that former Tigers Ed Christian and LaDarius Phillips have died while former Calhoun County standout and current Auburn Tiger Eric Mack was wounded by a gunshot. No official releases have named the victims.
Mack is allegedly in critical condition.
It’s still very early in this story and I will try to update it as more information becomes available. My prayers are with the victims’ families.
UPDATE: Eric Savage, Social Media for Auburn University Student Affairs, just tweeted that the Auburn University Police Department has arrested one person in connection with this shooting, but identity or role is unconfirmed as of yet.
UPDATE 2: WTVM is now reporting they’ve confirmed that three people have now died as result of the shooting:
News Leader 9 has confirmed three people have died in a shooting in Auburn. The shooting took place at the University Heights apartments complex late Saturday night.
Two additional victims are seriously injured and have been taken to an area hospital. We understand police are still seeking a shooter.
News Leader 9 spoke with Chief Tommy Dawson, who says he is asking for prayers from the Auburn family tonight.
The coroner’s office has confirmed three are dead and two are injured in a shooting at the University Heights apartment complex off Longleaf Drive.
I don’t want to assume that the third victim is Eric Mack, but given earlier reports, that would make sense, but it is still way too early to tell. The WTVM report also says that the local police chief says he does not believe the public is in danger which would usually lead me to believe the earlier update about having someone in custody means they may have the shooter under arrest. However, the person in custody could also be a witness, a friend of one of the victims, or someone believed to be involved in the shooting, so caution should still be exercised.
UPDATE 3: It appears the search for those involved in this shooting continues. According to an earlier update, Auburn University Police Department did have someone in custody but their identity or role in the shooting was not confirmed. It now looks like that may have been a man that was arrested for being intoxicated and was not related to the shooting. Now, both WSFA and WTVM are reporting that police are still seeking suspect(s) at this time.
UPDATE 4: Some details on the shooting are beginning to emerge. The Sporting News has a report in which they relay an eyewitness account of the shooting as well as some other scant details:
Turquorius Vines, 23, said he was at the pool party Saturday evening at the University Heights apartments with one of his friends. He said he and his friend were approached by two other men who started arguing with them over a woman.
Vines said he punched one of the men, while his friend hit both of the men over the head with a bottle. Either one or both of the two men then started shooting, he said. He said his friend was shot and killed, while two others also were hit by gunfire. Vines said he had never before seen the men who he had been arguing with.
“It’s like I lost a lung,” Vines said of his friend. “I don’t know how I’m going to survive this.”
Several emergency vehicles had converged overnight around the University Heights apartment complex where reports indicated a number of students who attend Auburn University typically reside. The building was swathed in yellow police tape.
It appeared that the shooting happened in an archway near the apartment complex information center, near the edge of the parking lot. Five uniformed officers guarded the area, which was sealed off with crime scene tape, and a handful of crime scene investigators were at work.
After daybreak Sunday, several uniformed officers stood near a disaster relief trailer parked at the building’s entrance, which appeared to be a sort of command center. Some bystanders milled about, looking on at the scene.
UPDATE 5: Chief Tommy Dawson released the names of the three men killed in last night’s shooting at a press conference. They are Ed Christian, Ladarious Phillips and Jamario Pitts. They were all 20 years old. Other victims were Xavier Moss, who was treated and released, John Robertson who is “fighting for his life,” and Eric Mack who is hospitalized for non-life-threatening injuries.
Chief Dawson identified one suspect as Desmonte Leonard, said he is still at large, that 3 warrants for Capital Murder have been issued for him, and the AUPD is in “active manhunt mode.” He also stated there are two other “persons of interest” whose identities are know, but said they won’t be releasing their names yet.
UPDATE 6: Authorities have surrounded a home in Montgomery, Alabama where they believe a suspect in the shootings at Auburn is hiding. From WSFA:
Represented are troopers, Montgomery Police, U.S. Marshals and the Auburn Police Department. All agencies have been on the lookout for the suspect in the triple Auburn homicide, 22-year-old Desmonte Leonard.
Montgomery Sheriff D.T. Marshall says there is reason to believe Leonard is inside the home, in the attic. Authorities revived a 9-1-1 tip as to Leonard’s location.
The home is in a neighborhood off of Young Farm Road between Vaughn and Bell Road on Barons Court.
No other information has been provided so far. I will update as the situation develops.