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Suspected Auburn shooter turns himself in to federal courthouse

The man suspected of shooting six people near Auburn University surrendered to U.S. Marshals Tuesday. Auburn Police Chief Tommy Dawson updates the press on the latest developments in the case.

 Updated at 10:54 p.m. ET: The man suspected of killing three people, including two former Auburn University football players, during a party Saturday night turned himself in Tuesday at a federal courthouse in Montgomery, Ala.

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Desmonte Leonard, 22, suspected in the shooting deaths of three people at a party Saturday night, turned himself into the federal courthouse on Tuesday evening.

Desmonte Leonard, 22, is suspected of shooting six people; he has been charged with three counts of capital murder.

Leonard arrived at the U.S. federal courthouse just before 8 p.m., walked through the courthouse doors and surrendered to U.S. Marshal Art Baylor, previously the Montgomery Police chief. 


He is being held at Montgomery County jail.

He is being represented by Susan James, a defense lawyer in Montgomery, Ala., according to WSFA.com. She contacted U.S. Marshals to discuss the terms of her client’s surrender.

“I think he was just tired,” James told WSFA. “He wanted somebody to tell him what to do.”

She said the story of what happened Saturday night may be different than what most expect.  

"I wanted to make sure they could get him into custody without someone trying to take him out," she said.

Read the story at WSFA.com

Saturday through Tuesday, police homed in on Montgomery, where Leonard lives. On Monday, they surrounded a house where they believed he was and piped in tear gas. Police said they heard coughing but ultimately did not find Leonard.

Police leave home after search for Auburn shootings suspect

Police did arrest two other men: Jeremy Thomas, 18, was questioned for hindering prosecution, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported, and Gabriel Thomas, 41, was arrested late Sunday for allegedly providing false information to police.

The shooting occurred before midnight on Saturday at the University Heights apartments, a large complex near campus favored by Auburn University's students and athletes. Leonard apparently fled in a white Chevrolet Caprice, which he later ditched.

When police arrived at the scene, Edward Christian, 20, was found dead on the sidewalk. Christian was a student and former offensive lineman for the Auburn Tigers football team.

Ladarious Phillips and DeMario Pitts, both 20, were transported to the hospital, where they later died. Phillips was a student and former backup fullback who gave up football in April, according to his coach. Pitts lived in Auburn.

Police Chief Tommy Dawson said at a news conference on Sunday that he believed the shooting was "a fight that obviously got out of hand."

The shooting has shaken Auburn, a city of 53,000 that revolves around the football team. The Auburn Tigers have won two national championships, most recently in 2011 against the University of Oregon. Cam Newton, a quarterback, won the coveted Heisman Trophy that year.

The Associated Press, Mark Stevenson and Marian Smith contributed to this report.

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