Suspect in Auburn fatal shooting has court record
AUBURN, Ala. (AP) — The man suspected in a weekend party shooting that killed three people and wounded three others was previously arrested on charges involving guns and twice sued for child support, according to court records.
Authorities were searching Monday for Desmonte Leonard, 22, of Montgomery, who is accused of opening fire Saturday night at an apartment complex near Auburn University after getting into a fight with some of the victims over a woman. He faces three counts of capital murder.
Two of those slain were former players for the school's powerhouse football program.
Auburn Police Chief Tommy Dawson said Leonard fled the scene in a white Chevrolet that he abandoned on the way back to Montgomery, about 55 miles away. They believed he was in the Montgomery area.
Court records show Montgomery police arrested Leonard in 2008 on a charge of carrying a pistol without a license, after stopping a suspected stolen vehicle and finding him inside. Documents available online didn't show whether the case was ever resolved, but Leonard was freed on bond within days.
Leonard was charged in 2009 with assault after allegedly shooting a man in the groin, but prosecutors dropped the case after the victim told authorities Leonard wasn't the shooter.
A Montgomery woman filed a paternity suit against Leonard on Friday that identified him as the father of a girl who turned 1 last month.
Another woman sued him in 2009 seeking unpaid child support for a girl who is now 4. A court ordered monthly payments of $305 by Leonard, who records show was working at a Walmart store at the time.
Auburn police said the weekend shootings didn't appear to have anything to do with some of the victims being former or current players on the football team, which won the national championship in 2010.
"The only connection that the Auburn football team has to this is they are victims of a brutal shooting. Sometimes the young men get a bad rap, I feel like, but they are the victims today," Dawson said.
Of the three wounded victims, John Robertson remained in critical condition after being shot in the head. Xavier Moss was released from the hospital. The third wounded victim was Eric Mack, a current football player who is expected to recover.
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