Birthday party shooting in Dadeville, Alabama: Four killed, at least 28 injured in shooting at teenage birthday party, officials say

Dadeville, Alabama — Alabama law enforcement officials on Sunday pleaded with people to provide information about a shooting that left four people dead and 28 injured during a teenager’s birthday party.

Among those killed was a high school senior who planned to play college football and was celebrating his sister’s 16th birthday.The shooting occurred Saturday night at a dance studio in downtown Dadeville. Did.

At two press conferences on Sunday, Sgt. Alabama Law Enforcement Officer Jeremy Burkett did not respond to questions. He did not say whether suspects were in custody or whether investigators knew of any motive.

“We need to get information from the community,” Birkett said at a press conference Sunday night.

Philstavious “Phil” Dowdell, a senior at Dadeville High School and Jacksonville State University, celebrated at his sister Alexis’ party before he was shot dead, his grandmother Annette Allen told Montgomery Advertiser.

“He was a very humble kid. He never interfered with anyone. He always had a smile on his face,” Allen told the newspaper, calling it a “million dollar smile.” called.

Dowdell’s mother was also injured in the shooting.

“Everyone is sad,” Allen said.

Burkett said the shooting occurred around 10:30 pm on Saturday. “Four lives were tragically lost in this incident,” he said.

The shootings rocked the city of 3,200 people about 92 kilometers northeast of Montgomery, Alabama.

Keenan Cooper, the party’s DJ, told WBMA-TV that the party was interrupted by attendees who heard someone with a gun. but no one left. Cooper said some people took refuge under the table he was standing on when the shooting started an hour later, while others fled.

Pastor Jason Whitstone, who leads the Christian Faith Fellowship, said the granddaughter of one of the church members was shot in the leg on Sunday and underwent surgery.

“We’re all heartbroken right now. We’re just trying to come together to find strength and solace,” Whitstone said before an interfaith gathering in the parking lot of the First Baptist Church. Told.

“We are a loving community,” he said. “We are all working together to comfort these children, teachers and the community at large.”

Dadeville’s compact downtown is centered around Courthouse Square, which is lined with one- and two-story brick buildings. The town’s busiest commercial district is the square a few blocks north of the bustling he four-lane highway that runs between Birmingham and Auburn. Dadeville is near Lake Martin, a popular recreation area.

Investigators on Sunday continued in and out of the Mahogany Masterpiece Dance Studio. This is indicated by a banner hanging outside his one-story brick building just off the square. Less than a block away, American and Alabama flags were lowered to half staff outside the Tallapoosa County Courthouse.

Dadeville Mayor Frank Goodman said he was in bed when he got a call from a city councilor before 11 p.m. Saturday. I went to the Lake Martin Community Hospital in

“It was chaotic,” Goodman said. “People were running around. They were screaming. There were police cars everywhere, ambulances everywhere. People were trying to find out about their loved ones. It was a scene I had never experienced before in the city.”

Pastor Ben Hayes, pastor of the Dadeville Police Department and local high school football team, said most of the victims were teenagers. Just weeks after graduating, Dowdell faced a bright future, Hayes told the Associated Press.

“He was a strong competitor on the field,” Hayes said. “I didn’t want to try to tackle him or be tackled by him. He was one of the nicest young men I’ve ever met, very respectful and respected by his peers.”

Antophane Woody, from neighboring Camp Hill, was Dowdell’s senior and fellow wide receiver on the undefeated Dadeville Tigers football team before losing in the second round of last year’s playoffs. He and Dowdell were lifelong best friends, he said. “It’s unreal. I can’t believe it.”

Woody said he and Dowdell have a special relationship on the football field. Celebrate,” he said.

He described the victims as “great people who don’t deserve what happened to them”.

Worried families flocked to the local hospital on Saturday night to check on their children’s condition, pastor Hayes said. He said serious crime was rare in Dadeville and that the small city was “sad, traumatized and shocked”.

Jacksonville State Football Coach Rich Rodriguez said in a statement Sunday:

Dowdell also recently won a medal at the high school track and field tournament at Troy University.

Students in Tallapoosa County schools will be able to receive counseling on Monday, school district superintendent Raymond C. Porter said.

Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey said on social media, “This morning I mourn with the people of Dadeville and my fellow Alabamaans. Violent crime does not exist in our state. As more details emerge. We are getting updates from law enforcement,” he said.

The White House said President Joe Biden had been briefed on the shooting, adding that it was closely monitoring the situation and was in contact with local officials and law enforcement to provide assistance.

“What happened to our country when children can’t attend birthday parties without fear? Parents have to worry every time their children walk out the door of the school, movie theater or park. When?” Biden said in a statement Sunday. “Guns are the leading killer of American children, and their numbers are increasing, not decreasing. This is outrageous and unacceptable.”

Biden urges Congress to “mandate safe firearm storage, require background checks on all gun sales, eliminate gun manufacturer immunity, and ban assault weapons and high-capacity magazines.” asked.

The mayor said Dowdell was “a great young man.” He also said he was worried about those injured and mentally traumatized by the shooting.

“We are praying for them,” Goodman said. “I ask God, if it is God’s will, to bring them back safely to their parents so that they can be rehabilitated.”

Goodman said guns and violence are not common in Dadeville. He said trying to crack down on guns would prove as futile as trying to crack down on illegal drugs.

According to Alabama data, Dadeville High School had 485 students in grades 6 through 12 in 2022. It serves the nearby areas of Dadeville and Tallapoosa County. Like the rest of Dadeville, it’s hidden from view from the busy highway from Birmingham to Auburn.

Dadeville High’s head football coach, Roger McDonald, said he would do his best to support grieving students.

“There is no strategy for something like this,” he said. “So the best thing you have to do is love your children, let them all know how much you care for them, and be there for them.

McDonald said there was something special about Dowdell.

“He was a leader and, to the best of his ability, an electrifying player,” the coach said.

Assistant coach Michael Taylor said he met Dowdell when he was nine and coached youth football. Taylor said the team was invited to Atlanta, where he played at the stadium used by the NFL’s Atlanta Falcons.

“He did some great things there, and since then he’s never stopped,” he said. “He was the best athlete in school.”

Taylor was last heard from Dowdell on Friday. Taylor said he drove from his home in nearby Camp Hill to the shoot on Saturday night.

“Hey, I couldn’t get close,” Taylor said. “So when I found out what was going on, I really had to walk away.

Taylor said he returned Sunday to see Dowdle’s body, which had been removed from the dance studio. He said he doesn’t know what to say to other athletes on Monday.

“The first thing we have to do is pray for a way out of this situation,” Taylor said on Sunday. They’re all really close, like a high school family.”

This is at least the second time in several years that multiple people have been shot in Dadeville. According to news outlets, in July 2016, a shooting incident occurred at Legion Hall in which five people were injured and one man was charged with five counts of his attempted murder.


Chandler reported from Huntsville, Alabama.

https://abc7ny.com/deadly-shooting-dadeville-alabama-multiple-injured-fatal/13137112/ Birthday party shooting in Dadeville, Alabama: Four killed, at least 28 injured in shooting at teenage birthday party, officials say

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