Two former Auburn football players, Ed Christian and Ladarious Phillips, are now confirmed dead after shots were fired at a party late last night at the University Heights apartment complex on W. Longleaf Drive off S. College Street in Auburn.
Auburn police found Christian dead on the scene. Phillips and another Auburn resident, Demario Pitts, were pronounced dead on arrival at East Alabama Medical Center. Three other people were injured in the shooting, including Auburn offensive lineman Eric Mack who was treated at East Alabama Medical Center and reportedly released late Sunday morning.
In a press conference held Sunday afternoon Auburn police chief Tommy Dawson emphasized that the “only connection that the Auburn football team has to this is that they are victims of a brutal shooting.”
“Sometimes the young men get a bad rap I feel like, but they’re the victims today.”
Dawson said a manhunt is currently underway for 22-year old Desmonte Leonard of Montgomery.
“It’s not just about the Auburn football players, it’s about the other young men that have been are injured, and especially the young man”—20-year old John Robertson, who was shot in the head—”fighting for his life at UAB today,” Dawson said. “That’s what this is about and that’s why to you do this job is for the victims, and that’s why we’re working so hard to bring [Leonard] into custody.”
Auburn University President Jay Gogue offered his condolences to the victims’ families in a statement released late Sunday morning.
“We’re deeply saddened about last night’s tragic events that impacted the Auburn community and the Auburn Family. Our heart-felt condolences go out to the victims and their families. Please keep them in your thoughts and prayers. We’re in constant contact with area authorities and will continue to assist in any way possible. Our attention is now focused on providing care and support to those touched by this tragedy.”
Those with information about the case are asked to contact Auburn police at 334-501-3140.
Photo via the Auburn Plainsman. Check with the for regular updates.
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