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MASS SHOOTING OCCURS AT TEENAGER'S BIRTHDAY PARTY : ALABAMA, USA

 

Limited Information Available | Investigation Is Underway

MASS SHOOTING OCCURS AT TEENAGER'S BIRTHDAY PARTY : ALABAMA, USA

In Dadeville, Alabama, a mass shooting happened during a teenager's birthday celebration, resulting in a massive police presence and terrible loss of life. 

The crime site is located on N. Broadnax Street, directly across from PNC Bank and Mahogany's Masterpiece. Dadeville, Tallapoosa County, Jacksons' Gap, Auburn, Opelika, and Lee County police are all present. 
Officials have not confirmed anything. According to Dadeville Police Chief Jonathan Floyd, a news conference will be conducted. Police have limited information as they respond to a tragic incident. 

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At least four people were killed and several injured in a Saturday night shooting at a teen birthday party in Alabama, in the latest deadly spasm of American gun violence.
By Associated Press: Alabama law enforcement officers Sunday were imploring people to come forward with information about a shooting that killed four people and injured 28 others during a teenager’s birthday party.

Among those killed was a high school senior who planned to play college football and was celebrating sister’s 16th birthday. The shooting erupted Saturday night at a dance studio in downtown Dadeville.
During two news conferences Sunday, Sgt. Jeremy Burkett of the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency did not take questions. He did not say if a suspect was in custody or if investigators knew about any motivation. He did not provide the names of those killed.

“We’ve got to have information from the community,” Burkett said during a Sunday evening news conference.

Philstavious “Phil” Dowdell, a Dadeville High School senior who had committed to Jacksonville State University, was celebrating at his sister Alexis’ party before he was shot to death, his grandmother Annette Allen told The Montgomery Advertiser.

“He was a very, very humble child. Never messed with anybody. Always had a smile on his face,” Allen told the newspaper, calling it “a million-dollar smile.”
Dowdell’s mother was among those hurt in the shooting.


“Everybody’s grieving,” Allen said.

Burkett said the shooting occurred about 10:30 p.m. Saturday. “There were four lives tragically lost in this incident,” he said.

The shootings rocked the city of 3,200 residents, which is about 57 miles (92 kilometers) northeast of Montgomery, Alabama.
Pastor Jason Whetstone, who leads the Christian Faith Fellowship, said the granddaughter of one of his church members was shot in the foot and underwent surgery Sunday.
MASS SHOOTING OCCURS AT TEENAGER'S BIRTHDAY PARTY : ALABAMA, USA
“All of our hearts are hurting right now. We’re just trying to pull together to find strength and comfort,” Whetstone said before an interfaith vigil in the parking lot of First Baptist Church.

“We are a loving community,” he said. “We’re pulling together in every aspect to comfort each and every one of these children, the teachers, all of the community.”

Dadeville’s compact downtown is centered around a courthouse square with one- and two-story brick buildings. The town’s busiest commercial district is a few blocks north of the square, off a bustling four-lane highway that runs between Birmingham and Auburn. Dadeville is close to Lake Martin, a popular recreational area.
Investigators on Sunday continued filing in and out of the Mahogany Masterpiece dance studio, denoted by a banner hanging on the outside of a one-story brick building just off the square. Less than a block away, the American and Alabama flags were lowered to half staff outside the Tallapoosa County Courthouse.
“Man, I couldn’t get close,” Taylor said. “So once I found out what’s going on, I really I just had to leave because it was going to be all night.”
Taylor said he returned Sunday to see Dowdle’s body carried out from the dance studio. He said he’s not sure what he will tell other athletes Monday.
“The first thing we’ve got to do is we’ve got to pray our way out of this,” Taylor said Sunday. “There ain’t no other way. And then I can tell you, they’re all real close like family at the high school.”
This is at least the second time in recent years that multiple people were shot in Dadeville. Five people were wounded in July 2016 during a shooting at an American Legion hall, and a man was later charged with five counts of attempted murder, news outlets reported.
Goodman said guns and violence are not a frequent presence in Dadeville. He said trying to control guns would prove as futile as trying to control illegal drugs.
Dadeville High School had 485 students in grades 6-12 in 2022, according to Alabama state data. It serves Dadeville and nearby parts of Tallapoosa County. Like the rest of Dadeville, it’s tucked away just out of view off a busy highway that runs from Birmingham to Auburn.
Michael Taylor is an assistant coach for the football, basketball and track teams at Dadeville High. He said he met Dowdell when Dowdell was 9 and Taylor coached him in youth football. He said the team was invited to Atlanta to play in the stadium used by the NFL’s Atlanta Falcons.
“He did some amazing things there, and he never stopped doing them since then,” Taylor said. “He was the No. 1 athlete in the school.”

Taylor said he last heard from Dowdell on Friday, when Dowdell was seeking video of his athletic exploits. Taylor said he drove to the shooting scene Saturday night from his home in nearby Camp Hill. PREZ BRIEFED ON THE SHOOTING.

President Joe Biden was briefed on the shooting, the White House said, adding that it is closely monitoring the situation and has been in touch with local officials and law enforcement to offer support.
“What has our nation come to when children cannot attend a birthday party without fear? When parents have to worry every time their kids walk out the door to school, to the movie theater, or to the park?” Biden said in a statement Sunday. “Guns are the leading killer of children in America, and the numbers are rising – not declining. This is outrageous and unacceptable.”
Biden called on Congress to “require safe storage of firearms, require background checks for all gun sales, eliminate gun manufacturers’ immunity from liability, and ban assault weapons and high-capacity magazines.”
The mayor said Dowdell was “a great young man.” He also said he is concerned about those wounded and psychologically traumatized by the shooting.
“We are praying for them,” Goodman said. “We ask God, if it’s his will, to bring them back to their parents safe, so they can mend.”

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