Two former Auburn football players killed

Michael Geissler

 

Two members of the 2011 Auburn football team were shot and killed late Saturday night at an apartment complex near campus, according to ESPN.com.

The former Tigers were among the three killed in addition to three more that were injured in the shooting, according to police. Ladarious Phillips and Ed Christian were the players that died during a fight at the University Heights apartment in Auburn.

Eric Mack, a sophomore lineman for Auburn, was also shot but was released from an Opelika hospital Sunday.

"This is a trying time, not only for university students and athletes, but its young people," Auburn Police Chief Tommy Dawson said in a Sunday afternoon news conference. 

Federal, state, and local police are on a search for Desmonte Leonard of Montgomery, Ala. with a warrant of three counts of capital murder. Leonard, 22, was seen by witnesses fleeing from the scene in a white Chevrolet. He later ditched the car on his way to Montgomery, according to CBS Chicago. Dawson said that Leonard was not connected to Auburn athletics.

"The only connections Auburn football players have in this are they are the victims of a brutal shooting," he said.

More than thirty police have been looking for Leonard, who has been charged in two prior gun incidents, according to the Boston Globe. Police believe he went to Montgomery, and they have arrested two individuals who are believed to have hindered the search. 

"We don't have reason to believe he is outside the city," said Sgt. Regina Duckett, a spokeswoman for the Montgomery Police DepartmentMontgomery was charged in 2008 for carrying an un-licensed weapon, but was released days later on bond, according to the Boston Globe.