Found June 12, 2012 on
After firing tear gas and searching with thermal imaging and tactical teams, authorities in Montgomery left a home early Tuesday where they believed the man charged with fatally shooting three people near Auburn University might have been hiding.
Law enforcement swarmed the scene Monday afternoon and spent hours there as they searched for Desmonte Leonard. They hadn't brought anyone out of the home by the time they held a briefing just after midnight.
And around 2:25 a.m. Tuesday, an Associated Press photographer on the scene saw all law enforcement agents that had been there leave without comment. It wasn't immediately clear why they left. There was no activity around the house.
As the search dragged on Monday, Montgomery Mayor Todd Strange said officers had interrogated one of the people who reported seeing Leonard, but there was no word of any charges.
Leonard is charged with three counts of capital murder in a shooting Saturday night during a pool party at University Heights apartments. He's also accused of wounding three others. The dead included two former Auburn football players.
While authorities were at the home Monday, Strange said they were going to scour the attic, air conditioning ducts and ''every crevice'' of the house until they were satisfied. They were drilling holes and tearing through pieces of the house. They vowed to repay the house's owner or rebuild the structure.
Investigators said thermal imaging and other technology showed a person was in the attic area of the house and that they'd heard coughing and movement. But after midnight, they acknowledged that they hadn't heard those noises for several hours.
Dozens of police cruisers, trucks, fire vehicles and vans surrounded the house, located in a middle-class area a few miles from Alabama's Capitol. Authorities had received two 911 calls that someone who looked like Leonard was in or near the house, Strange told reporters. One of the calls came from the owner of the home.
Also on Monday, police said they had arrested two men accused of hindering the search.
Auburn police said Jeremy S. Thomas, 18, of Montgomery was charged with hindering prosecution after he fled the scene of the shooting with Leonard. Records show Thomas was free on bond at the time of the Auburn shootings while awaiting a manslaughter trial set to begin June 18 in last year's shooting death of a teenager.
Montgomery police said Gabriel Thomas, 41, was also charged with hindering prosecution after having contact with Leonard after the shooting and providing false information to officers.
Police said it wasn't known whether Jeremy Thomas and Gabriel Thomas are related. Officers also were looking for a third man described as a person of interest in the case, but it wasn't clear why.
The three killed in the weekend shooting included former Auburn players Edward Christian, who had to quit the team because of a lingering back injury; and Ladarious Phillips, who was transferring from Auburn to Jacksonville State University to play football. The other person killed was Demario Pitts, 20.
Of the three people who were wounded, current Auburn football player Eric Mack and Xavier Moss were both treated and released from a hospital. The third, John Robertson, remained in critical condition after being shot in the head.
A witness who identified himself as a friend of Pitts said he didn't know the man who pulled out a gun and began firing into the crowd following a dispute over a woman.
''I ain't never seen him a day of my life,'' said Turquorius Vines, 23, who wasn't injured in the melee.
Police have arrested Leonard on two previous charges involving guns.
Court records show Montgomery police arrested Leonard in 2008 on a charge of carrying a pistol without a license after stopping a suspected stolen vehicle and finding him inside. Documents available online didn't show whether the case was ever resolved, but Leonard was freed on bond within days.
Leonard was charged in 2009 with assault after a man was shot in the groin, but prosecutors dropped the case after the victim told authorities Leonard wasn't the shooter.
A Montgomery woman filed a paternity suit against Leonard on Friday that identified him as the father of a girl who turned 1 last month.
Another woman sued him in 2009 seeking unpaid child support for a girl who is now 4. A court ordered monthly payments of $305 by Leonard, who records show was working at a Walmart store at the time.
Auburn police said the shootings did not appear to have anything to do with some of the victims being former or current players on the football team, which won the national championship in 2010. The swimming pool at the apartment complex frequently is the site of parties.
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According to reports, two former Auburn football players were killed and current Tigers player Eric Mack was injured following a Saturday night shooting at an apartment complex near the campus.
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Three people were fatally shot, including two former Auburn University football players, and another three people were wounded during a party at an apartment complex near the school, authorities said Sunday.
Auburn Police Chief Tommy Dawson said during a news conference that current football player Eric Mack was among those wounded and was being treated at a hospital.
The two slain...
Auburn, AL (Sports Network) - Auburn football player Eric Mack was wounded in a shooting near campus on Saturday night.
According to the Auburn police department, Mack was among six victims in the shooting. Three of the victims, including two former Auburn football players, died.
Mack, an offensive lineman from South Carolina, is expected to fully recover from his injuries.
The search continued Monday for a gunman suspected of killing three people and wounding three more in a shooting at a pool party near Auburn University. Two of the slain victims were former players for the school's powerhouse football program.
Authorities were searching for Desmonte Leonard, 22, of Montgomery, who is accused of opening fire Saturday night at an apartment complex...
In what has been a rapidly developing situation this morning, a shooting occurred last night at an Auburn, Alabama apartment complex. The shooting leaves three persons dead and several wounded. Two of the persons which were slain on scene were former Auburn University football players.
Edward Christian and Ladairous Phillips were two of the victims killed in the senseless act of...
Pictured to the left is of 22-year-old Desmonte Leonard of Montgomery, Alabama who is wanted in the shooting deaths of 3 people at a pool party near Auburn University. According to police, the shooting was the result of a fight that began over woman.
Among the slain were former Auburn players Ed Christian and Ladarious Phillips. Along with 20-year-old Demario Pitts. Among the injured...
Two former Auburn football players, Ed Christian and Ladarious Phillips (pictured right), were shot to death at the University Heights apartment complex close to campus, Saturday night. Another, current football player, Eric Mack, was also shot but is alive and in the hospital. The shooting stemmed from a fight that happened at a pool party, according to sources familiar with the...
The three-day hunt for a man charged with killing three people near Auburn University ended with the suspect walking up the steps of an Alabama courthouse and peacefully turning himself in to a U.S. Marshal waiting inside.
Hours after his surrender, Desmonte Leonard was being held early Wednesday in a Montgomery jail. He'd been on the run since Saturday, when authorities said...
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