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Alabama authorities have no laid siege to a home that they believe contains the man responsible for killing three people and injuring others at a shootout near Auburn University. A dose of tear gas has been released into the attic that they believe now contains the man. The alleged shooter is 22-year old Desmonte Leonard, who is now wanted on three counts of capital murder. Police were acting on tips they received from witnesses who saw someone fitting the description of the killer at the house.
Alabama authorities closed in on the attic of a Montgomery home late Monday, believing they had trapped the man accused of killing three people and wounding three others near Auburn University.
Police had already used “a powerful dose” of tear gas in an attempt to force out the suspect, Montgomery Mayor Todd Strange told reporters. Montgomery Public Safety Director Chris Murphy said a tactical squad had taken control of the home’s ground floor and heard noise, including coughing, in the attic.
“We feel like he’s hunkered down in there,” Murphy said. Investigators have tried to talk to the man, “and that has not been responded to,” he said.
Investigators can’t conclusively say the person in the attic was 22-year-old Desmonte Leonard, now wanted on three counts of capital murder. But Strange said the call that brought police to the scene “indicated that a person that looked like the suspect might be in this house,” and two other callers reported someone who looked like Leonard was in the area, Strange said.
Montgomery County Sheriff D.T. Marshall said the owner of the house returned home to find the suspect inside and called police. And Strange said investigators are prepared for a long night if necessary.
“Time is on our side,” he said, adding, “It’d be very difficult for us to go in, but if we have to, we will.”