Alabama police asked people to come forward with information about a sh00ting at a teen’s birthday party that k!lled four people and hurt 28 others on Sunday.
One of the people who died was a senior in high school who wanted to play football in college and was at his sister’s 16th birthday party. The sh00ting occurred at a dance school in downtown Dadeville on Saturday night.
Sgt. Jeremy Burkett of the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency did not answer questions at two news appearances on Sunday. He didn’t say if the police had a suspect in arrest or if they knew why the crime happened. He didn’t say the names of the people who died.
“We’ve got to have information from the community,” Burkett said during a Sunday evening news conference.
Philstavious “Phil” Dowdell was a Dadeville High School student accepted to Jacksonville State University. His grandma, Annette Allen, told the Montgomery Advertiser.
“He was a very, very humble child. I never messed with anybody. Always had a smile on his face,” Allen told the newspaper, calling it “a million-dollar smile.”
The sh00ting hurt several people, including Dowdell’s mother.
“Everybody’s grieving,” Allen said.
Burkett said that the sh00ting happened on Saturday night around 10:30 p.m. “This terrible accident took the lives of four people,” he said.
The k!llings shook the town of 3,200 people, which is about 57 miles (92 kilometers) northeast of Montgomery, Alabama.
DJ Keenan Cooper told WBMA-TV that the party was stopped for a short time when people heard that someone had a firearm. He said anyone with a firearm was told to leave, but no one did. Cooper said that when the sh00ting started a while later, some people hid under a table near where he was standing while others ran away.
Pastor Jason Whetstone, in charge of the Christian Faith Fellowship, said that a church member’s niece was shot in the foot and had surgery on Sunday.
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“Right now, all of our hearts hurt. Whetstone said before a religious gathering in the parking lot of First Baptist Church, “We’re just trying to pull together to find strength and comfort.”
“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.
The small downtown area of Dadeville is built around a courthouse square with brick buildings that are one and two stories tall. A few blocks north of the town hall, near a busy four-lane highway that runs between Birmingham and Auburn, is where most of the town’s businesses are. Lake Martin, a famous place to go for fun, is close to Dadeville.
Sunday, investigators kept coming and going from the Mahogany Masterpiece dance school, which could be found in a one-story brick building just off the street and marked by a flag. At least five bullet holes could be seen in the front windows of the building. Less than a block away, in front of the Tallapoosa County Courthouse, the American and Alabama flags were lowered to half-staff.
Dadeville’s mayor, Frank Goodman, said that a council member called him just before 11 p.m. on Saturday while he was sleeping. He said that he went to the Lake Martin Community Hospital in Dadeville, where some of the people who had been shot were taken.
“It was chaotic,” Goodman said. “People were running around. They were crying and screaming. There were police cars everywhere. There were ambulances everywhere. People were trying to find out about their loved ones. That was a scene where we never had anything like this happen in our city before.”
Pastor Ben Hayes, who is a chaplain for the Dadeville Police Department and the local high school football team, said that most of the d*aths are teens. Hayes told The Associated Press that Dowdell was almost done with school and had a bright future ahead of her.
Hayes said, “He was a good player on the field.” “You didn’t want to tackle him or let him tackle you. But when he left the field, he was one of the nicest young men you could ever meet. He was very respectful, and his peers looked up to him.
Last year, Antojuan Woody, a senior from the nearby town of Camp Hill, played wide receiver on the Dadeville Tigers football team with Dowdell. The Tigers went perfectly until the second round of the playoffs when they lost. He said that he and Dowdell had always been best friends.