The man charged with capital murder in the shooting deaths of three young men at an Auburn apartment complex is still on the run.
The U.S. Marshals, the FBI, Auburn Police and several other agencies are searching for Desmonte Leonard. He's 22 years old and believed to be in the Montgomery area. Auburn Police Chief Tommy Dawson says those officers will not stop working until Leonard is in custody.
Three young men died in the Saturday night shooting. Twenty-year-old Edward Christian, a former Auburn football player, was dead at the scene, Chief Dawson said. Former Tiger Ladarious Phillips, also 20, and 20-year-old Demario Pitts died at the hospital, according to the chief. 20-year-old John Robertson, who at last check was in critical condition, was shot in the head. Xavier Moss, 19, was treated and released. Current offensive lineman Eric Mack, 20, has also been released from East Alabama Medical Center.
"This is a trying time because it's, it's not only University students and athletes, but it's young people," Chief Dawson said during a news conference Sunday. "It's six young people that have been shot, and we're, as you can tell, the community is shaken by this and grieving today."
Police say they do know of a motive for the shooting, but will not release it at this time. "That will be for the courtroom later on," said Chief Dawson. He did say the men were at a party at University Heights Apartments and a fight broke out before the shooting.
Witnesses provided police with a description of the car that left the scene, a white Chevrolet Caprice. Police found it later on Macon County. Chief Dawson says it is now in impound at the Auburn University Police Department, where detectives are going over it for evidence.
Chief Dawson says it is not fair to connect the current and former players to any bad behavior.
"They are Auburn University students, first of all. Them being football players really has nothing to do with this case. They are victims of a shooting," he said Sunday afternoon. "I owe it to their parents to point that out. The young men were having, at a party and they unfortunately were shot. It's nothing to their character or anything. It's just sad."