At dawn Sunday in Alabama, police continued their investigation into the mass shooting that occurred Saturday night in downtown Dadeville.
- Filming took place around 10:30 p.m. Saturday in Dadeville, Alabama
- Majority of victims believed to be teenagers, according to local reports
- Four people died and as many as 20 were reportedly injured
- Confirmed it was linked to a birthday celebration
- Request for prayers for the community and the police department
- Advice for students in the schools of tomorrow
- A photo circulating online appears to show six people lying on the floor of the venue
- No word on the shooter
The crime scene, located at the former Bank of Dadeville at 220 N. Broadnax St., which had been converted into a Mahogany Masterpiece dance studio two years ago, has been carefully combed through by investigators looking for evidence throughout the night.
On Saturday night, a group of teenagers had gathered at the studio to celebrate a birthday when gunfire broke out shortly after 10.30pm.
Tallapoosa County School Board Superintendent Raymond C. Porter released the following statement:
My heart is heavy this morning for the families and friends who are hurting and grieving this morning after the senseless tragedy our community experienced last night. Please join me in lifting the victims, their loved ones and the Dadeville community in prayer.
Counseling services will be available at Dadeville High School and all schools in Tallapoosa County. We appreciate the prayers of our local clergy and their churches and will be calling on you in the days ahead.
All of our resources will be available to administrators, teachers and the student body of Dadeville High School as we help them navigate this tragic event and on the road to recovery.
After the incident, law enforcement remained tight-lipped about the shooting, the victims or any potential suspects for more than eight hours. The incident quickly drew attention on social media, with a disturbing image showing six people collapsed inside the room being broadcast. Some users pleaded for the image to be removed.
Meanwhile, other social media users recorded videos at a nearby hospital where families anxiously awaited updates on their injured loved ones.
Phil Dowdell, KeKe Smith and Siah Collins have now been identified as 3 of 4 confirmed deaths following the shooting which left up to 15 more injured.
One of the victims of the shooting was Phil Dowdell, a high school student who was due to graduate in a few weeks and had won a football scholarship to Jacksonville State.
Dowdell had been celebrating his sister Alexis’ 16th birthday on Saturday night when the tragic incident took place, leading to her untimely death.
Annette Allen, Dowdell’s grandmother, described him as an incredibly humble and generous person who never caused any trouble and always had a beaming smile on his face. She called her smile a “million dollar smile.”
During the party, several teenagers, as well as Dowdell’s mother, were also shot, the latter suffering two gunshot wounds.
Another victim killed in the Dadeville mass shooting has been identified as Ke Nicole.
According to Allen, many parents are currently unaware of the whereabouts of their children and are frantically visiting different hospitals looking for them. She also noted that the shooting incident happened during Alexis’ birthday celebration, saying “they were here to celebrate it.” Allen issued a call to prayer for the county and its surrounding areas.
Around 8:30 a.m., the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency released a statement confirming that at least four people had lost their lives in the mass shooting that occurred in Dadeville.
The statement said the incident happened around 10:45 p.m. Saturday and acknowledged that several people were injured. However, no further information regarding the exact number of people affected by the shooting has been released.
At the request of the Dadeville Police Chief, the ALEA has confirmed that it will open an investigation into the shooting.
Opelika resident Ashley Hill drove to downtown Dadeville with two other women after hearing about the shooting, in a bid to ensure the safety of a family friend.
She expressed her deep sadness for the teenagers who had gathered to celebrate a birthday, shaking her head as she described the devastation caused by the incident.
According to Hill, Dadeville, a small town of just over 3,000 people, is not generally associated with the level of violence seen in larger cities.
However, this is not the first time the city has seen a mass shooting, as a gunman injured five people at a party at the American Legion.
Hall on August 28, 2016. Following the recent incident, police had cordoned off several blocks near the crime scene, including North Broadnax Street between Green and Columbus Streets, as well as part of Cusseta Street.
This strip consists of a range of professional services, a furniture store, the PNC Bank, and the Tallapoosa County Courthouse, which provides various county services, including the probate office.
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