AL – DADEVILLE – Authorities in Alabama were pleading with people to come forward with information regarding a shooting during a teen’s birthday party that left four people dead and 28 others injured.
Around 10:30 p.m., a birthday party in downtown Dadeville was the shooting scene, according to Sgt. Jeremy Burkett of the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency.
Initial confirmation of what caused the shooting was lacking, and although Burkett did not name a suspect, he claimed the person no longer threatened the neighborhood.
“There were four lives tragically lost in this incident and many injuries,” Burkett said during a news conference Sunday.
Burkett reported that a “wide variety of injuries” were sustained by 28 people during the incident, with several of them being in severe condition. According to Heidi Smith, a hospital spokesman, fifteen minors were reportedly treated for gunshot wounds at Dadeville’s Lake Martin Community Hospital.
According to Smith, of the 15 teenagers, six have received treatment and been let out while nine have been sent to different hospitals. Four hospitalized teenagers were stable, while five were in severe condition. According to NPR, some casualties were airlifted to a trauma center in Birmingham, Alabama.
The 3,200-person city, which is located approximately 57 miles northeast of Montgomery, Alabama, was shook by the shootings. The Mahogany Masterpiece dance studio, which was renovated from the former Bank of Dadeville two years ago, was the scene of the shooting.
Victim Attends a Prayer Vigil in Hospital Gown, Recounts Incident
Hundreds of people gathered at Dadeville’s First Baptist Church on Sunday afternoon to pray and support one another as authorities looked into the incident. People from the community were spotted giving and receiving hugs. Teenagers congregated in a clump, sobbing and wiping their eyes.
Taniya Cox, one of the victims, showed up to the vigil wearing a medical gown and a cast on her right arm. She claimed that she was shot twice in her right arm at the party on Saturday night.
“The mother said whoever had guns had to get out and they didn’t get out and five minutes later the shooting started,” Cox said. “I ran in front of a bullet and got shot. I didn’t know what was happening; I just saw blood coming out of my arm.”
Cox said she went to the back of the room and there were “other shooters.” “They told me to get out of the way, or I would get shot,” she said.— Marty Roney, Montgomery Advisor.
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Annette Allen: ‘Everyone is grieving’
Annette Allen reported that her grandson Philstavious “Phil” Dowdell was killed in the shooting on Saturday night to the Montgomery Advertiser. This publication is a part of the USA TODAY Network.
Dowdell had committed to Jacksonville State University as a senior at Dadeville High School. Before bullets broke out, Allen claimed to be at a party honoring his sister Alexis’ lovely 16th birthday.
Allen claims that Dowdell’s injuries caused his death. And among those hurt in the incident was his mother.
“He was a very, very humble child. Never messed with anybody. Always had a smile on his face,” Allen said, calling his grin that “million-dollar smile.”
Rich Rodriguez, the head football coach at Jacksonville State, issued a statement in response to the shooting on Sunday.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of Philstavious Dowdell and the other victims of the senseless tragedy last night,” Rodriguez said.
“He was a great young man with a bright future. My staff and I are heartbroken and hope everyone will support his family through this difficult time.” Allen asked for prayers for the county and the surrounding area. “Everybody’s grieving,” she said.
Alabama gun laws
Anyone 18 or older may now carry a firearm in Alabama without a license, background check, or safety training, thanks to new legislation that went into effect in January. In March 2022, Gov. Kay Ivey put the act repealing the need for a concealed carry permit into effect.
According to the National Rifle Association Institute for Legislative Action, Alabama has no state laws that define or prohibit “assault weapons,” “large capacity magazines,” or machine guns as a class of firearm.
Gun Violence So Far in 2023
Around the same time as the incident in Dadeville, someone opened fire into a packed park in Louisville, Kentucky, killing two people and injuring four more.
Around 9 p.m., officers were sent to Chickasaw Park where, according to Louisville Metro Police Deputy Chief Paul Humphrey, “someone started firing into the crowd, hitting at least six people. To University Hospital were transported four patients.
On April 10, a shooting spree at Louisville’s Old National Bank left five people dead and eight others hurt, including two LMPD officers. The bank employee who opened fire was killed by law enforcement. No explanation for the shooting has been given.
“This has been an unspeakable week of tragedy for our city,” Louisville Mayor Craig Greenberg said at the press conference Saturday night. “This is not our city. This is not who we are. This is not who we want to be. … This is enough.”
The charity Gun Violence Archive records every mass shooting—defined as one in which at least four victims are shot. According to the archive, the attack in Dadeville is the 160th mass shooting in the nation this year.
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