AUBURN, Ala. (AP) - UPDATE 6/10 9 p.m.:
Auburn Mayor Bill Ham, Jr. released a statement:
"On behalf of the citizens of Auburn, I express our deepest sympathy to the families of the victims of the tragic shooting in Auburn last night. We are distraught that violence was used in such a senseless way and young lives were lost. While violence is unsettling to our peaceful community, I have full confidence that our Police will handle this matter in a most professional manner, and will provide information to a concerned community as it is appropriate."
Auburn University President Jay Gouge released a statement regarding the incident:
“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.”
Auburn Football Coach Gene Chizik also issued a statement:
"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 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. 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."
As did Auburn's Director of Athletics Jay Jacobs:
"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."
UPDATE 6/10 1:26 p.m.: Police have released the names of those involved in the shooting.
Authorities main suspect in the shooting is 22-year-old Desmonte Leonard. Police have impounded his white Chevrolet caprice and are searching it. Leonard is to be considered armed and dangerous. A judge has signed three warrants for his arrest for three counts of capital murder.
Three people were killed in the shooting: Two Auburn football redshirt freshmen Edward Christian, 20, and Ladarious Phillips, 20, were killed. Twenty-year-old Demario Pitts was killed as well.
There are three others who were injured. Xavier Moss, 19, was treated at a hospital and released. John Robertson, 20, is fighting for his life at UAB Medical Center in Birmingham. Eric Mack, 20, another football player is also being treated for injuries and expected to make a full recovery.
Earlier: Several people were shot at an apartment complex near Auburn University in Alabama when a fight broke out during a pool party, authorities and a witness said.
Auburn Police Chief Tommy Dawson told the Opelika-Auburn News that police were called Saturday night. He did not say who was shot or discuss their conditions.
Turquorius Vines, 23, said he was at the pool party Saturday evening at the University Heights apartments with one of his friends. 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 his friend 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 his friend was shot and killed, while two others also were hit by gunfire. Vines said he had never before seen the men who he had been arguing with.
"It's like I lost a lung," Vines said of his friend. "I don't know how I'm going to survive this."
Several emergency vehicles had converged overnight around the University Heights apartment complex where reports indicated a number of students who attend Auburn University typically reside. The building was swathed in yellow police tape.
It appeared that the shooting happened in an archway near the apartment complex information center, near the edge of the parking lot. Five uniformed officers guarded the area, which was sealed off with crime scene tape, and a handful of crime scene investigators were at work.
After daybreak Sunday, several uniformed officers stood near a disaster relief trailer parked