The Auburn community is devastated after a shooting on Saturday night took the lives of two former Auburn football players. Ed Christian and Ladarious Phillips were shot and killed during an off-campus party. Offensive lineman Eric Mack was also injured but his injuries are not fatal. The shooting also took the life of another man who was not a football player.
“This is a sad, sad day for everyone associated with the entire Auburn family,” coach Gene Chizik said in a statement released by the university. “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.”
According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the fight was over a girl. Two of the men left the fight and returned to the party at the apartment complex clubhouse, where the shooter was. The shooter blocked the only exit out of the clubhouse and began firing. The gunman, Desmonte Leonard, is wanted on three counts of capital murder and has not yet been found.
Police concluded that the shootings were random and Auburn football players were not the targets.