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City of Auburn Police Chief Tommy Dawson on Tuesday, June 12, announced the arrest of Desmonte Leonard, suspect in Saturday's tragic incident at University Heights Apartments. Below is a statement from Auburn University President Jay Gogue.
"We appreciate the dedication and commitment of the Auburn City Police Department and other law enforcement agencies. This is a difficult time for our campus and community. We're remembering those who lost their lives, and it's important that we pull together to help those who are grieving and recovering. We're offering counseling to students, and we've reached out to the families. I ask everyone to offer your thoughts, prayers and support to those who need it."
Counseling is available for all Auburn University students who have been affected by this incident. Appointments are required (except for emergencies) and can be made by calling (334) 844-5123 or by stopping by in person. The office is located on the 2nd floor of the Auburn University Medical Clinic at the corner of Lem Morrison Drive and Duncan Drive. Business hours are 7:45 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.
Students in need of immediate counseling should go to the emergency room of East Alabama Medical Center, or call (334) 705-0510. Also, the East Alabama Mental Health Center has a toll-free number that may be called 24 hours a day for emergencies: (800) 815-0630.
More information regarding counseling services will be made available on this website as it becomes available.
On Saturday, June 9, 2012 at approximately 10:03 p.m. the Auburn Police Division responded to a report of shots fired in the area of a clubhouse at an apartment complex located in the 200 block of West Longleaf Drive. When officers arrived on the scene they located multiple gunshot victims. Edward J. Christian, age 20, of Valdosta, Georgia was pronounced dead at the scene by Lee County Coroner Bill Harris. Two others, Ladarious K. Phillips, age 20, of Roanoke, Alabama, and Demario A. Pitts, age 20, of Opelika, Alabama, were transported by ambulance to East Alabama Medical Center (EAMC) where they were pronounced dead. Three additional victims, Xavier D. Moss, age 19, and John Q. Robertson, age 20, both of Roanoke, Alabama, and Eric R. Mack, age 20, of Cameron, South Carolina, were transported by ambulance to EAMC for treatment of gunshot wounds. Moss was treated and released while Mack was admitted to EAMC and Robertson was transferred to UAB Hospital in Birmingham, Alabama. The shooter, who fled the scene in a vehicle along with two other men, has been identified as Desmonte D. Leonard, age 22, of Montgomery, Alabama. The vehicle was later found abandoned off Wire Road in Macon County. Warrants for three counts of Capital Murder have been obtained on Leonard and officers are working to determine his whereabouts. Police are also working to locate and question the two men who fled with Leonard. Their identities are not being released at this time. The case is being investigated by the Auburn Police Division, Federal Bureau of Investigation, U.S. Marshal’s Service, Lee County Coroner’s Office, and the State Medical Examiner’s Office. The Montgomery Police Department, Opelika Police Department, Lee County Sheriff’s Office, and the Macon County Sheriff’s Office are also assisting in the case. Anyone with information pertaining to the case is asked to contact Auburn Police Division detectives at (334) 501-3140 or anonymously by text or voice to the tip line at (334) 246-1391.
"We're deeply saddened about last night's tragic events that impacted the Auburn community and the Auburn family. Our heart-felt condolences go out to the victims and their families. Please keep them in your thoughts and prayers. We're in constant contact with area authorities and will continue to assist in any way possible. Our attention is now focused on providing care and support to those touched by this tragedy."
"This is a sad, sad day for everyone associated with the entire Auburn family. I am devastated by the passing of three young men, including two that I personally knew in Ed Christian and LaDarius Phillips and my heart goes out to their families. My thoughts and prayers are with their families and all of the victims involved in this tragic incident. Nobody should ever have to endure such unimaginable grief, and we will love and support the victims' families during this terribly difficult time. We have a lot of people on our football team that are hurting right now and we're going to do everything we can to help them get through this. We are relieved that Eric Mack, who was also a victim in this incident, is expected to make a full recovery. This is a very trying time for everyone involved, and I would just ask that you lift up the victims and their families in your prayers."
"This is a tragic day for the entire Auburn community. First and foremost, our thoughts and prayers go out to the victims and their families who have been devastated by this senseless tragedy. We will support the families of the victims in the difficult days ahead in every way that we possibly can. Our student-athletes are obviously stunned and deeply saddened, and we are providing counseling and support for them as they grieve the loss of their teammates and friends."
Last Updated: June 12, 2012