Two former Auburn football players Ed Christian and Ladarious Phillips, seen left to right in the photos, were killed and offensive lineman Eric Mack was injured following a Saturday night shooting at an apartment complex near the university campus, according to al.com.
The news website reports that Mack “will be all right.”
As many as six people were shot, and three of them were killed, including 20-year-old Demario Pitts.
Turquorius Vines, 23, said he was at a pool party Saturday evening at the University Heights apartments with one of his friends, Pitts. He said that he and Pitts 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. Vines said he had never before seen the men who he had been arguing with.
“This is a sad, sad day for everyone associated with the entire Auburn family,” said Auburn head football coach Gene Chizik. ” I am devastated by the passing of three young men, including two that I personally knew in Ed Christian and Ladarious 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,” said Chizik. “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.”
Christian, Phillips and Mack were part of Auburn’s 2010 recruiting class. Christian had to give up football because of a bad back. Phillips had decided to give up the game.
Mack was scheduled to be an offensive lineman during the Tigers 2012 season.
A manhunt is underway for Desmonte Leonard, who was charged with capital murder. He is considered “armed and dangerous.”
Two others are considered persons of interest.