Auburn-Opelika Police have obtained three capital murder warrants against Desmonte Leonard, age 22, of Montgomery in connection with last night’s deadly shooting at a apartment complex near Auburn University. The shooting left three dead—including former Auburn football players LaDarious Thomas and Ed Christian. Current Auburn lineman Eric Mack was also injured in the melee, but is being treated for what officials called “non life threatening injuries.”
Capital murder in the state of Alabama is defined as murder committed during the commission of another crime. It is punishable by either death or life in prison without parole.
Ed Christian was declared dead at the scene. LaDarious Thomas died of his injuries at the hospital. A third fatality was Demario Pitts. All three victims were 20 years old.
According to accounts, Leonard got into an altercation with attendees at a party in the University Heights complex. A fight ensued, and Leonard allegedly left, returned with a gun and began shooting at the party crowd.
Local, state and federal authorities are now in an “active manhunt” for Leonard, who police described as “armed and very dangerous.”
Auburn President Jay Gogue said in a statement “our attention is now focused on providing care and support to those touched by this tragedy."
Auburn football coach Gene Chizik said in a statement “This is a sad, sad day for everyone associated with the entire Auburn family. I am devastated by the passing of three young men."
UPDATE: Video of the Tommy Dawson press conference is below. Helmet tap to Leather Helmet Dawg.