On Tuesday, the man accused of killing three people and wounded three more at a party near Auburn University on Saturday turned himself into police. Desmonte Leonard surrendered at 7:57 p.m. on Tuesday night and was taken into custody by a U.S. Marshal at the federal courthouse in Montgomery, Alabama.
Leonard has been charged with three counts of capital murder related to the shooting deaths of three men after a fight occurred over a woman. Two of the deceased victims include former Auburn football players and a current player was injured in the shooting. Susan James, a defense attorney from Montgomery, contacted the U.S. Marshals after she received word that Leonard wanted help. James and her son picked Leonard up approximately 50 miles from Montgomery and drove him to the federal courthouse. Snipers were positioned on the roof just in case Leonard tried anything.
“He was very calm, very tired and very ready to get this over with and very respectful,” said James. “When the full story is told, it may sound different than the perception now. You don’t want a bad end for anybody.”
Tommy Dawson, the chief of police at Auburn, said that Leonard appeared to be in good health and would not confirm where Leonard was hiding since the shooting.
“In a case like this there is no relief because those boys aren’t coming home tonight,” Dawson said.
Jay Gogue, the president of Auburn University, said the following about law enforcement during the ordeal:
“We appreciate the dedication and commitment of the Auburn City Police Department and other law enforcement agencies. This is a difficult time for our campus and community. We’re remembering those who lost their lives, and it’s important that we pull together to help those who are grieving and recovering,” he said.
Two other men have been charged with misleading authorities during the manhunt for Leonard. Police Chief Kevin Murphy also said that another man who helped take Leonard to the home could be arrested for similar charges. On Monday afternoon, a house in Montgomery was surrounded by police because they believed Leonard was inside hiding after receiving two solid tips. The home was bombarded with tear gas, assault rifles and spy gear but a nine-hour search of the premises did not yield Leonard because he fled before the officers arrived.
Leonard was connected to the home by someone other than the homeowner, according to the city’s public safety director, Chris Murphy.