Montgomery Mayor Strange comments on aftermath of Auburn shootin - WSFA.com Montgomery Alabama news.

Montgomery Mayor Strange comments on aftermath of Auburn shootings

MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) -

The following are comments from Montgomery Mayor Todd Strange on law enforcement's actions and the role of the media in the aftermath of the Auburn shootings of June 9th. 

Last Saturday night Montgomery's Public Safety director, Chris Murphy, called to inform me that three young men had been killed and three others wounded in an unimaginably tragic shooting in Auburn. Even before we understood that the suspect and his two companions were Montgomery residents, our city immediately offered all possible assistance. Indeed, the law enforcement community at every level rallied to the Auburn Police Department in support of its investigation and search for the suspects. 

By Sunday, the suspected shooter had been identified publicly; by Monday, two Montgomery men were in jail on charges of hindering prosecution; and by late Tuesday afternoon, the suspect himself had surrendered to the U.S. Marshals Service and was jailed to face trial on three counts of capital murder and two counts of second-degree assault. 

Much has been said — and rightly so — in praise and appreciation of the public safety response to this tragedy. City, county, state and federal agencies did what they do best. They worked together seamlessly, capably, professionally, and with a single purpose: to bring to justice the perpetrator of these criminal acts. I share Auburn Mayor Bill Ham's pride in the stellar service of Chief Tommy Dawson, Chief Kevin Murphy, Marshal Art Baylor and every other officer whose efforts have contributed to this arrest. 

There is another essential element here that bears attention, and that is the inestimable role of print, broadcast and online media. The Auburn family, the state of Alabama and the entire nation watched these events rapidly unfold, with news coverage as compelling as I have ever seen. The shock of those at the scene, the continuing grief of Auburn students, officers surrounding the residence where the suspect was believed to be hidden as a state trooper helicopter circled above … these are all images that we will not soon forget. 

The riveting news coverage captured our attention this week, kept us informed and helped us understand what was happening and the impact on our communities. The news media also played another crucial role: their coverage communicated the absolute resolve of law enforcement. 

Through video, print, still photographs, online posts, broadcasts and tweets, the news media made clear the relentless pursuit of the shooting suspect by every officer and every agency. As Chief Dawson said, "You can only run for so long." We all knew, as I suspect Desmonte Leonard knew, that it was only a matter of time. 

With the help of the news media, six other images were imprinted on us this week, ever drawing our attention back to Ladarious Phillips, Ed Christian, Demario Pitts, John Robertson, Eric Mack and Xavier Moss. The resolve of the law enforcement community is for them, for their families, and for justice. 

Copyright 2012  WSFA 12 News.  All rights reserved.

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