Update on the Auburn shooting suspect Desmonte Leonard


As of Tuesday at 2:30 pm Desmonte Leonard is still at large and considered very dangerous. There have been three different press conferences today. One by Auburn Chief of Police Tommy Dawson, another was Montgomery Mayor Todd Strange, Police Chief Kevin Murphy, and also Public Safety Director Chris Murphy, and the last one was by Auburn Head Coach Gene Chizik.

The first one of the morning came at 10:00 am from Police Chief Dawson. He announced that they are still searching for Desmonte Leonard. He announced that the reward that was once 15,000 dollars is now 30,000 dollars. Chief Dawson continually thanked the Montgomery police department for their work last night. He also said that he has been in contact with Leonard’s mother. She really wants him to turn himself in, but had not talked to him since before the shooting occurred. Chief Dawson really wants everyone to remember what this is about, three young men innocently murdered. Dawson at the end of the press conference did say that the report of the MPD raiding the wrong house was wrong and that was a false statement.

The second press conference of the day came around 11:30 am from Mayor Strange, Chief Murphy and Public Safety Direct Murphy. Mayor Strange started out reminding everyone that we are dealing with a triple homicide. He said that the search team has a tremendous number of assets that they were using. Said last night they had two very good leads that brought them to that house. One was a phone call from a person saying they dropped Leonard off at this house. Then about 15 minutes later received a phone call from a woman saying there was someone in her house that looked like Leonard. Police Chief Murphy thinks that he left the house moments before authorities arrived. Director Murphy then said that the police search force will continue to do a “full court press “on Leonard until he is found. He kept emphasizing that giving out false information was Class C felony and they would take out warrants for arrest. Police Chief Murphy noted that every move they made last night was discussed between every police organization there. He said they had to go into the house inch by inch instead of foot by foot to insure that no one was at risk of getting injured. They would be pursuing leads today, and they would be interviewing one of the people that made the information call last night. The police chief then noted also that the report of raiding of the wrong house had been incorrect. Saying the FBI agent was misquoted and that he had spoken to him earlier in the morning. When ending the press conference they said they know who dropped off Leonard and that person would be prosecuted as well.

The last press conference began a little after 2:00 pm. Head Coach Gene Chizik started by saying it was hard to put into words what people were facing right now. Chizik gave thanks to the police force and the media for how they have been handling everything. He said there was a lot of grieving right now on the football team and that they were trying to navigate through a lot of questions that are not answered. His number one goal was to support the families and the friends of the families affected by the shooting. His number one goal for the football team was going to be aiding in counseling. Coach Chizik said the gathering was a bunch of people getting together to watch the NBA playoffs. Eric Mack is expected to have a full recovery. He is up and walking around. When asked about football season, Chizik responded that he doesn’t care about football season. He wants to get everyone mentally healthy. Said he wants to end the grieving process. Announced there is on timeline for how long that could take.  To end the press conference he noted that the Athletic department would provide transportation to the funeral for all Auburn student-athletes not just the football team.