Suspect in Auburn shooting turns himself in

Desmonte D. Leonard, 22, of Montgomery, Ala., turned himself in to police. (Reuters/Auburn Police...

Desmonte D. Leonard, 22, of Montgomery, Ala., turned himself in to police. (Reuters/Auburn Police Division/Handout)

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, Last Updated: 12:02 AM ET

MONTGOMERY, ALA. - The suspect in the shooting deaths of two former Auburn football players over the weekend turned himself in to authorities Tuesday night.

Desmonte D. Leonard, 22, is accused of shooting six people near the Auburn campus on Saturday night, killing three.

Auburn Police Chief Tommy Dawson said Leonard, through his attorney, turned himself in around 8 p.m. local time to Montgomery County Sheriff D.T. Marshall.

Dawson said Leonard is charged with three counts of capital murder, two counts of first-degree assault. Dawson added that Leonard will be held without bond in the Montgomery County jail.

"It's a relief we have him in custody," Dawson said. "We can wrap up loose ends and proceed, but in some sense in a case like this there is no relief because those boys aren't coming home. I know I've said it a lot, but I mean it.

"At the same time, Mr. Leonard has a mama and I'm sure she's grieving just as well. In a sense, she's lost a son. Everybody's got a mama, and mama always loves you."

Former players Edward Christian and LaDarious Phillips, both 20, were among the three killed in the shooting while current offensive lineman Eric Mack was wounded and is expected to fully recover. Auburn resident Demario Pitts, 20, died at a hospital.

"I know your young men won't be coming home, but hopefully this arrest will give you some closure," Dawson said in a message to the victims' parents. "It's not over. We're going to continue to investigate this case. We'll never forget the victims in this case."

On Monday night, authorities surrounded a house where Leonard was believed to be hiding. Tear gas was deployed and people in the neighborhood in east Montgomery were being asked to remain in their homes, but at the time law enforcement came up empty-handed.


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