BIRMINGHAM, Alabama (Reuters) - The suspect in the fatal weekend shooting of three men near Auburn University in Alabama has turned himself in to police, bringing an end to an intense manhunt that involved federal, state and local law enforcement, authorities said on Tuesday.
Desmonte Leonard, 22, was wanted on three state warrants for capital murder as the prime suspect in Saturday’s shooting in which two former Auburn University football players were killed and a current player was wounded.
Leonard turned himself in Montgomery, the Alabama capital, Auburn Police Chief Tommy Dawson told Reuters.
In all, three men were shot dead and three wounded in the incident at a pool party at an apartment complex near the Auburn campus. One man remains in critical condition with a bullet wound to the head.
Earlier Tuesday, authorities doubled the reward to $30,000 for information leading to Leonard’s capture.
The original reward fund of $15,000 came from a $10,000 contribution by the FBI and $5,000 from the U.S. Marshals Service. The University of Auburn has pledged a further $10,000 and the city of Montgomery $5,000 to the fund, Auburn city spokesman David Dorton said.
Police had said they believed Leonard fled to Montgomery, about 60 miles from Auburn.
Two of the men killed on Saturday night - Edward Christian and Ladarious Phillips, both 20 - were former members of the Auburn football team. Current Auburn player Eric Mack, 20, also was wounded in the shootings.
Christian and Phillips were freshman recruits on the Auburn team that won the 2010 season national championship along with Mack.
Another victim, 20-year-old John Robertson, remained hospitalized and was said to be clinging to life after suffering a gunshot wound to the head.
Two other men, Gabriel Thomas, 41, and Jeremy Thomas, 18, have been charged with hindering prosecution in the case. Police said the two Montgomery men provided false information to law enforcement officers searching for Leonard.
Editing by Paul Thomasch and Christopher Wilson