Unfortunately, the tragic news speculated earlier today and slammed headfirst into the Auburn football program has been confirmed.
At a press conference that’s still ongoing, the Auburn Police Department confirmed that former AU players Ed Christian and Ladarious Phillips died as a result of wounds they incurred in a late-night shooting Saturday. Christian was pronounced dead at the scene, Phillips after being transported to a local hospital. Both were 20 years old, as was the third male who died as a result of the gunshot wounds.
The APD also confirmed that current Tigers offensive lineman Eric Mack was shot but suffered non-life-threatening injuries. Mack remains hospitalized but the prognosis for a full recovery is good.
Two other individuals were wounded in the shooting, with one of them “fighting for his life.”
“This is a sad, sad day for everyone associated with the entire Auburn family,” AU head coach Gene Chizik said in a statement. “I am devastated by the passing of three young men, including two that I personally knew in Ed Christian and Ladarious Phillips and my heart goes out to their families. My thoughts and prayers are with their families and all of the victims involved in this tragic incident. Nobody should ever have to endure such unimaginable grief, and we will love and support the victims’ families during this terribly difficult time. We have a lot of people on our football team that are hurting right now and we’re going to do everything we can to help them get through this.
“We are relieved that Eric Mack, who was also a victim in this incident, is expected to make a full recovery. This is a very trying time for everyone involved, and I would just ask that you lift up the victims and their families in your prayers.”
The suspect in the shooting is still at large and is considered by police to be “armed and extremely dangerous.”
“It’s sickening that these young lives were cut short. As a society we’ve got to learn the value of life,” APD police chief Tommy Dawson stated during the press conference.
Our thoughts, prayers and condolences go out to those who were touched by this tragedy. And we echo the chief’s thought that, one of these days, people learn the value of life.