Portland News

Alabama witness another mass shooting with 4 dead and 28 wounded

Alabama A gunman opened fire on a birthday party in Alabama on Saturday night, ending in bloodshed.

According to police, the Alabama shooting killed four people and wounded at least 28 others.

The news

At 10:34 p.m. on Saturday, the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency reported a fatal gunshot wound in downtown Dadeville.

Sgt. Jeremy J. Burkett supplied more details, saying:

“There were four lives tragically lost in this incident, and there’s been a multitude of injuries.”

Burkett alleged during a press conference on Sunday afternoon that the incident resulted in a variety of injuries, with several patients in severe condition.

“Please understand this is a very fluid situation,” he added.

“We have been getting continuous updates throughout the day and we are absolutely trying to confirm and understand everyone that was in the venue there.”

Officials are currently interrogating witnesses in order to learn more about the incident, according to Burkett.

Authorities revealed no information about the offender or his motivation during the news conference.

Jeremy Burkett also requested that anybody with knowledge about the incident contact Alabama law enforcement officers, saying:

“I cannot stress this enough, we absolutely need you to share it.”

What happened?

Philstavious Dowdell was one of the victims of the Alabama shooting.

Dowdell was lauded as a fantastic high school football player by the football team’s chaplain, Ben Hayes, and the party’s DJ, Keenan Cooper.

Dowdell was also the birthday girl’s brother.

Cooper claimed he did not hear any fighting or other disruptions before the gathering was shot.

“It’s really sad to see all the kids that were shot and the ones that are deceased,” he said.

“And seeing all those bodies at the front door, all those kids are probably going to be traumatized.”

According to medical officials, around 15 young people were hospitalized early Sunday for gunshot wounds, with several of them in severe condition.

Heidi Smith, a spokesman for Dadeville Lake Martin Community Hospital, stated that six of the fifteen juveniles were brought to the hospital, with six being treated and discharged.

The nine survivors were sent to separate hospitals.

According to the most current reports, five teenagers were critically injured and four others were in stable condition.

Several victims of the Dadeville birthday party shooting were treated at Russell Medical Center in adjacent Alexander City, according to spokesman Susan Foy.

“They were treated and released or transferred to other facilities,” she said.

According to Foy, she was unable to establish the number of patients that had arrived or their ages.

Read also: Louisville shooting investigations underway

Hometown hero lost

Philstavious Dowdell, according to Keenan Cooper, will graduate from high school next month.

He attended Jacksonville State University in Jacksonville, Alabama, on a football scholarship.

Dowdell was described by Cooper as “kind of like the hometown hero.”

On Sunday, Jacksonville State Head Coach Rich Rodriguez made the following statement on Dowdell’s death:

“Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of Philstavious Dowdell and the other victims of the senseless tragedy last night,” said Rodriguez.

“He was a great young man with a bright future.”

Dadeville High School coach Michael Taylor expressed shock after learning of the terrible incident.

Taylor said that he had coached the victim since he was nine years old and considered him a standout athlete.

“Anything he put his hand on, he was blessed,” said Taylor.

The coach of Dadeville High School recounted a chat with Dowdell in which the hometown hero said:

“If anything ever happened to me, even when I go to college, take care of my two sisters.”

“It can’t be true; it just can’t be true,” said Taylor.

Grieving

Ben Hayes, chaplain with the Dadeville Police Department, said the chief requested him to go to Lake Martin Community Hospital to assist control the crowds and minister to the students who had assembled.

“It’s a very close, tight-knit community,” said Hayes.

“Everybody knows everybody. That’s why this is so difficult, it’s because this – it’s affecting everybody in the community.”

Students reported to Hayes that the event occurred during a “Sweet 16” birthday celebration.

“I knew these kids personally. Most people did,” said the pastor of the people who gathered.

“There was a lot of sadness, a lot of concern on faces.”

“I think at this point, it’s shock,” Hayes continued. “I think probably the anger will come.”

“I think it’s a matter of time to see how people respond to this. But right now, things are quiet, and we’re just praying that it stays that way.”

According to Superintendent Raymond C. Porter, Tallapoosa County Schools will provide counseling to pupils.

“What we’ve dealt with is something no community should have to endure,” said Dadeville Police Chief Jonathan L. Floyd.

“I also ask each of you, please do not let this moment define what you think about the city of Dadeville and our fine people.

Governor Kay Ivey of Alabama released a statement expressing her sympathies to the community.

“This morning, I grieve with the people of Dadeville and my fellow Alabamians. Violence crime has NO place in our state, and we are staying closely updated by law enforcement as details emerge.”

2023 mass shootings so far

The incident in Alabama occurred on the same day as tourists to a park near Louisville, Kentucky were shot.

Four people were injured and two were killed in the Louisville tragedy.

It was also the city’s second mass shooting in as many days.

A shooter killed five people at an Old National Bank branch five miles from Chickasaw Park on Monday.

According to the Gun Violence Archive, there were more than 160 mass shootings in the United States in the first 15 weeks of 2023, with more than 1.5 occurring every day.

Opinions expressed by Portland News contributors are their own.