Chizik Offers Support To Shooting Victims, Families

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Gene Chizik, head football coach at Auburn University, said the school is grieving the shooting deaths of three young men in Auburn.  The community is also thinking about three other young men who were wounded.

"I think everyone knows and understands this has been an incredibly difficult 72 hours for a lot of people," said Chizik.  "Especially for the six victims and their family and friends."

"The whole Auburn community, Auburn family is devastated in the passing of three young men," Chizik said. "We're devastated... it's just hard to put into words the difficulty people are facing right now."

Ed Christian, 20, died at the scene.  He was an Auburn football player, but out on injuries.  Ladarious Phillips died at East Alabama Medical Center.  Phillips, 20, was a former Auburn football player.

Demario Pitts, 20, was also killed.

Three others were wounded -- Xavier Moss, John Robertson and Eric Mack, a current Auburn player. 

Chizik did not discuss the investigation or the details of the shooting.  He spoke with a great deal of compassion and offered prayers and support to the people who are hurting.

"Our thoughts and prayers, and everything that we can do for the victims' families is our number one priority right now," said Chizik.

Chizik thanked the Auburn Police Department for quickly communicating with the team the night of the shooting. He also thanked the media for respecting the privacy of all of the players.

"I've got a team of 120 players right now that is just trying to navigate a lot of questions that just aren't answered," said Chizik.

The university is offering counseling for players.

"That's a top priority for us, trying to get our guys some help," said Chizik.

He also said he was not concerned about the upcoming football season.

"I'm just concerned with trying to get these guys healthy," said Chizik. "My number one goal is to get these guys the help they need -- that they find a way to get through this.  There's no timeline on this."

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