Two Former Auburn Football Players Killed In Shooting
Investigators were searching Sunday for a gunman who killed three people including two former Auburn University football players and wounded three others at a pool party near campus after several men got in a fight over a woman, authorities and witnesses said.
One of the wounded was shot in the head and critically hurt. Another was a current player, Eric Mack.
Desmonte Leonard opened fire at the Saturday night party at an apartment complex near the university, Auburn Police Chief Tommy Dawson said. Federal marshals and police were searching for Leonard, who faces three counts of capital murder.
Slain were Edward Christian, who had not been playing because of a back injury, and Ladarious Phillips, who had previously quit playing football. The other person killed was 20-year-old Demario Pitts.
Officials also said Xavier Moss and John Robertson were wounded. Robertson had been shot in the head and was in critical condition; Moss was released from the hospital.
Dawson said he did not know why the party was being held or what sparked the fight.
Turquorius Vines, 23, said he was at the pool party Saturday evening at the University Heights apartments with one of his friend, Pitts. He said he and his friend were approached by two other men who started arguing with them over a woman.
Vines said he punched one of the men, while Pitts hit both of the men over the head with a bottle. Either one or both of the two men then started shooting, he said. He said Pitts was shot and killed, while two others also were hit by gunfire. Vines said he had never met the men he was arguing with.
“It’s like I lost a lung,” Vines said of losing his friend. “I don’t know how I’m going to survive this.”
Mack, the wounded player, is a junior offensive lineman from St. Matthews, S.C. He played in five games last season. Coach Gene Chizik said Mack was expected to make a full recovery.
Christian is an offensive lineman who was out last season while dealing with a back injury. Phillips was a backup fullback who in April had decided to give up football.