Desmonte Leonard, Auburn University Shooting Suspect, Surrenders to FBI

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Reports say Desmonte Leonard, a man suspected of three murders near Auburn University over the weekend, has surrendered to federal agents.

He walked into the lobby of a U.S. courthouse in Montgomery, Ala., and surrendered to the FBI and U.S. Marshals Service, according to reports.

Auburn Police Chief Tommy Dawson said: "You can't run but so long. It's a psychological thing. We were going to pursue until we caught him."

Desmonte Leonard Photos

Attorney Susan James told the AP that Leonard's family had reached out to her about the surrender and she arranged it at the courthouse.

"He was very calm, very tired and very ready to get this over with, and very respectful," James said; it's unclear if he has retained her.

Desmonte Leonard faces three counts of capital murder and assault charges and is being held at the Montgomery County Jail, Dawson said.

He likely will be transferred back to Auburn in coming days.

Investigators on local, national and federal levels had been searching for Leonard around the clock since he allegedly opened fire at a party near the university on Saturday night, murdering three people and wounding three others.

The manhunt initially proved fruitless and maddening for the officials, though they suspected he was in Montgomery, where they believed he fled.

Two former Auburn football players, Ladarious Phillips and Ed Christian, and another man identified as Demario Pitts, died in the shooting.

Auburn football players Eric Mack, Xavier Moss and John Robertson were wounded, with the latter "fighting for his life," Dawson added.

All six victims are under 21. Officials say they were not targeted because of football, but were simply at the wrong place at the wrong time.

After the arrest, Dawson apologized repeatedly to the families and community.

"I know your young men won't be coming home, but hopefully this arrest will give you some closure," he said.

"In some sense, in a case like this, there's no relief because those boys aren't coming home tonight," he added. "At the same time, Mr. Leonard's got a mama. And I'm sure she's grieving some."

The search seemed to be coming to an end on Monday night when a woman said she walked into a house and saw a man believed to be Leonard sitting on the couch. She called 911 and dozens of officers responded to the scene.

The house was tear-gassed and police technology seemed to indicate some movement in the house, but when a SWAT team finally entered the home, Leonard was gone.

"We would not have put the resources out there if we did not fully believe he was there. Once we got there, we fully believed he was still there," Montgomery Director of Public Safety Chris Murphy said at a news conference today.

Authorities said there was a gap of between 15 and 20 minutes from when the 911 call was placed to when officers arrived.

Police said they believe Leonard does have a connection to the house, but not with the woman who claimed to have seen him there. Police would not specify the connection, but said it was not a family member's home.

The house search was not the first time this week investigators hit a dead end.

Earlier this week, Gabriel Thomas, 41, and Jeremy Thomas, 18, were arrested and charged with hindering prosecution in the search for Leonard.

Gabriel Thomas allegedly had contact with Leonard and then provided misleading information in the search, according to police.

Jeremy Thomas allegedly fled with Leonard the night of the shooting. Police would not comment on whether the two men are related.

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