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Updating the Auburn tragedy

6/11/2012


Police are still searching for the suspected shooter in the deaths Saturday night of the two former Auburn football players and one other young man.

Killed were Ed Christian and Ladarious Phillips, both former Auburn players, and Auburn resident DeMario Pitts.

The suspect, Desmonte Leonard of Montgomery, Ala., had a criminal record and had twice been arrested on gun charges, according to court records. He had a child support lawsuit filed against him the day before the shootings.

Auburn offensive lineman Eric Mack was also shot near the hip, but was treated at East Alabama Medical Center and released Sunday afternoon. Coach Gene Chizik met with the team on Sunday night.

Auburn police officials have emphasized that the former Auburn players attending the party at the University Heights apartment complex near campus were "victims of a brutal shooting" and not part of the investigation.

Friends of Christian, who had his career cut short by back injuries, have said that they believe he was trying to break up a fight over a woman when he was shot and killed.

Phillips left the team in April and was planning on transferring to Jacksonville State.

Christian was pronounced dead at the scene, while Phillips and Pitts died later Saturday night at the hospital.