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Auburn Football Players Shot and Killed in Off-Campus Tragedy

Donald Wood@@Donald_WoodFeatured ColumnistJune 10, 2012

Photo courtesy of AL.com
Photo courtesy of AL.com

Former Auburn football players Ed Christian and Ladarious Phillips were killed in a tragic shooting Saturday night, according to Charles Goldberg of AL.com. Eric Mack, a current player for the Tigers, was also shot and wounded at the scene. 

UPDATE: Sunday, June 10, 2:50 p.m. ET by Donald Wood

The Auburn Tigers football and athletic departments have issued official statements concerning the shootings that involved former and current student-athletes.

Tigers head coach Gene Chizik shares his emotion:

This is a sad, sad day for everyone associated with the entire Auburn family. 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.

As if the stresses of life and school weren’t enough for the university’s students and athletes, this tragic news will only add more distress. They must rally around each other in their time of need, and it’s clear that’s exactly what they’re doing.

The full statement from Auburn can be found here.

---------End of Update----------

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UPDATE: Sunday, June 10, 2:20 p.m. ET by Donald Wood

Police have officially released details of the tragic shooting in Auburn.

Sports and news reporter Christina Chambers, for NBC 38 in Columbus, Ga., is reporting about the victims of the senseless shooting and who the police are looking for:

Victims names: 6 victims: Ed Christian-20, Ladarious Phillips- 20, Demario Pitts-20 (all dead) exavier moss- John robertson- Eric Mack

— Christina Chambers (@chambc1) June 10, 2012

Suspect is DesMonte Leonard- 22

— Christina Chambers (@chambc1) June 10, 2012

Signed three charges of capital murder, he is considered to be armed and dangerous

— Christina Chambers (@chambc1) June 10, 2012

The sad news continues to mount as three young men lost their lives on Sunday morning in a situation that most certainly could have been avoided. As families try to deal with the emotional losses, police are doing their best to get the assailants behind bars.

-----------End of Update-----------

UPDATE: Sunday, June 10, 12:40 p.m. ET by Donald Wood

As more news continues to break about the young men slain on Saturday night, the mother of one of the students reported dead, Ladarious Phillips, confirmed the story to ABC News.

Phillips' mother, Jemecia Phillips, told ABC News her son died last night, but said she didn't know what happened at the party leading to his death.

With the sad news continuing to pile up, the Auburn community will mourn the loss of two of its former players. The police are expected to make a formal announcement to the media at some point Sunday.

----------End of Update----------

The shooting reportedly took place late Saturday night at University Heights apartment complex near Auburn University. Police were initially called to the scene, where there were reports of a shooting with multiple victims.

Eric Mack confirmed the incident via Twitter, courtesy of Eunity:

“@CFBW Eric Mack RT @Mr_Showtime60 I appreciate all the love and prayers for me and my two lost homies. May ... tmi.me/rriEU

— Eunity (@Eunity) June 10, 2012

From the reports on AL.com, the shooting took place in front of the apartment's office or clubhouse. And witnesses reported seeing a body covered by a sheet before officers put tents up around the area to protect the crime scene.

After hours of not being allowed into the complex by police, the residents of the apartment building were taken a different way while the detectives continued their ongoing investigation.

We will keep you updated as more details emerge at Bleacher Report’s College Football page.

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