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Desmonte Leonard, Auburn shooting suspect, surrenders to police

Desmonte Leonard AP Photo/Auburn Police Division

Undated photo shows Desmonte Leonard, 22, the suspect wanted for fatally shooting three people and wounding three others near Auburn University
AP Photo/Auburn Police Division

(CBS/AP) MONTGOMERY, Ala. - The three-day manhunt for 22-year-old Desmonte Leonard, who is charged in connection with the shooting death of three people near Auburn University, ended peacefully Tuesday when he walked up the steps of an Alabama courthouse and turned himself in to a U.S. Marshal waiting inside.

Pictures: Auburn shooting suspect surrenders

Leonard was being held in a Montgomery jail early Wednesday. He had been on the run since Saturday. That is when police say he opened fire after a dispute over a woman at a pool party near Auburn University. His surrender put an end to the vexing manhunt, in which authorities dealt with misinformation from people who know Leonard, then narrowly missed catching him at a Montgomery house they searched inch-by-inch for nine hours.

"It's been a trying case for all law enforcement involved," Auburn Police Chief Tommy Dawson said at a news conference announcing the arrest Tuesday night.

Investigators said they believe the pressure of being on the run finally got to Leonard. Defense attorney Susan James said she arranged for his surrender after receiving word from his family that he wanted her help. She had time to talk to Leonard while driving him to the federal courthouse in Montgomery.

"He was very calm, very tired and very ready to get this over with and very respectful," said James. "When the full story is told, it may sound different than the perception now."

Leonard is charged with three counts of capital murder and he's accused of killing three people and wounding three others. The dead included two former Auburn University football players, with one current player among the injured.

Meanwhile, two men have been charged with misleading authorities during their search for Leonard.

Dawson said Leonard appeared to be in good health but he also declined to say where he had been hiding. Leonard will be moved to Opelika near the university for a first court appearance on Wednesday or Thursday.

Complete coverage of Desmonte Leonard on Crimesider

  • Crimesider Staff

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