Photo by Butch Dill/Getty Images.
A dramatic three-day manhunt for the man suspected of killing two former Auburn University football players and one other person ended peacefully Tuesday when he turned himself in at an Alabama courthouse.
CNN reports that Desmonte Leonard, who went on the run after opening fire at a party near Auburn University on Saturday, could appear in court on Wednesday. The 22-year-old faces three counts of murder and two of assault.
Leonard’s surrender was arranged by Montgomery defense attorney Susan James. She drove him from an undisclosed location 50 miles outside the city to the federal courthouse, agreeing to help even though Leonard hadn’t retained her. "You don’t want a bad end for anybody," James told the Associated Press.
Three people were killed during the shooting on Saturday and three others were wounded, among them a current university football player. Although the police have a motive for the shooting, it has not been announced. Witness reports in the media indicate the fight escalated over a woman.
The manhunt was complicated by friends of Leonard who misled police about his whereabouts. On Monday, officers swarmed a Montgomery house for nine hours, searching it not "foot by foot," in the words of the Montgomery police chief, but "inch by inch." They fired tear gas into the attic and tore out insulation and drywall, only to discover Leonard had fled before they arrived.
Auburn Police Chief Tommy Dawson, who led the search, commented upon Leonard's capture, "In a case like this there is no relief because those boys aren't coming home tonight."