The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

Local News

June 10, 2012

Two former AU players reported dead in shooting

AUBURN —  



AUBURN, Ala. (AP) — Several people were shot at an apartment complex near Auburn University when a fight broke out during a pool party, authorities and a witness said Sunday.

Auburn Police Chief Tommy Dawson told the Opelika-Auburn News that police were called Saturday night. He did not say who was shot or discuss their conditions. However, OA News and al.com were reporting two former football players were killed, Ladarius Phillips and Ed Christian. those reports also say current player Eric Mack was injured.

An Auburn University spokesman declined to confirm local reports that former or current players were among the victims. Late Sunday morning, coroner's officials also refused to say if anyone had died.

Turquorius Vines, 23, said he was at the pool party Saturday evening at the University Heights apartments with one of his friends. He said he and his friend were approached by two other men who started arguing with them over a woman.

Vines said he punched one of the men, while his friend hit both of the men over the head with a bottle. Either one or both of the two men then started shooting, he said. He said his friend was shot and killed, while two others also were hit by gunfire. Vines said he had never before seen the men who he had been arguing with.

"It's like I lost a lung," Vines said of his friend. "I don't know how I'm going to survive this."

Several emergency vehicles had converged overnight around the University Heights apartment complex where reports indicated a number of students who attend Auburn University typically reside. The building was swathed in yellow police tape.

It appeared that the shooting happened in an archway near the apartment complex information center, near the edge of the parking lot. Five uniformed officers guarded the area, which was sealed off with crime scene tape, and a handful of crime scene investigators were at work.

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