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Four dead and 28 injured after mass shooting at birthday party in Alabama

In a shooting that took place in Alabama, four people were killed, including a young American football player.

Officials say that 28 more people were injured, and some are in critical condition.

The incident occurred at a 16th birthday celebration in Dadeville in Tallapoosa County, about 100km (60 miles) northeast of Montgomery in Alabama.

Picture: The birthday party took place in the dance studio. Photo: AP

Officials said that although it was not known immediately if there was a suspect in custody, the gunman no longer posed a threat to local residents.


“We will continue to work very methodically to examine this scene and the facts to ensure that justice for the families is served,” said Jeremy Burkett.

One of those killed in the crash was a footballer who had recently signed with Jacksonville State University.

The Montgomery Advertiser reported that Annette Allen, the grandmother of Philstavious Dowdell, said that he had been celebrating at Alexis Dowdell’s sister party when he was fatally shot.

“He was an extremely, very humble boy. Never got into any trouble with anyone. Always had a big smile on his face,” said Ms Allen to the newspaper. She called it “a million dollar smile”.

On 1 February, he proudly announced his decision to attend Jacksonville. He had received multiple offers from universities.

Rich Rodriguez, the head football coach at Jax State University where the promising high school player had been signed, expressed his “heartbreak” over the loss of this promising athlete.

The shooting also injured Mr Dowdell’s mother.

At an earlier press conference, Mr Burkett confirmed that the shooting had been “related to a birthday” and encouraged members of the public with any information to come forward.

He said that “four lives were lost, not fatalities but lives”, as well as “a multitude of injuries”.

“We will continue to work in a methodical manner to examine this scene and the facts, and to ensure that justice for the families is served. “We will do that,” said he.

Frank Goodman, the mayor of Dadeville, described the situation at a hospital nearby as “chaotic”.

There were people running about. He said, “They were screaming and crying.” There were ambulances and police cars all over the place. The people were searching for their loved ones. This was an unusual scene in our city.

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“We will not let this tragedy define who we are”

Raymond Porter, the Superintendent of schools, announced that students will receive counseling on Monday at their school.

He said: “We will do everything we can to comfort these children. Don’t forget that they are the most affected by this situation.”

In a press release, Joe Biden questioned: “What is our nation coming to when we cannot allow children to attend a party without fear?”

He said that gun violence is “outrageous” and “inacceptable” in the US, and urged Congress to pass legislation that would shift responsibility to arms manufacturers and ban assault weapons.

WRBL-TV reported the attack at a studio of dance. The station showed images of crime scene taping around the venue, and nearby buildings, along with a heavy police force.

Picture: AP

Pastor Ben Hayes is the chaplain of the Dadeville Police Department as well as the local high-school football team. He said that most of the victims were young, because the shooting happened at a birthday party for a teenager.

He described the victim as “a great guy” and said that the shooting had rocked a small town, where serious crimes are rare.

He said, “I knew a lot of these students.” “Dadeville, a small community, will be affected by this.”

The Alabama Law Enforcement Agency reported that the shooting occurred at around 10.30pm Saturday. They did not provide any information on a possible motive.

Image: Authorities helping with the investigation

The FBI, US Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, and Fifth Circuit District Attorney’s Office also responded and assisted with the investigation.

In a press release, Governor Kay Ivey of Alabama said: “This morning I grieved with the people in Dadeville as well as my fellow Alabamians.”

“Violent crimes have no place in our State, and we will be closely monitoring the details as they emerge.”

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Dadeville has a population of approximately 3,000.

It is the second time that multiple people have been shot in Dadeville in recent years. In July 2016, five people were injured in a shooting that took place at the American Legion Hall. A man was then charged with five counts for attempted murder.

Gun Violence Archive reports that there have been 162 mass shootings across the nation so far this calendar year.

Last week, local leaders called for stricter gun control after two recent high-profile mass killings in Tennessee and Kentucky.

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On Monday, a bank employee in Louisville shot and killed five of his colleagues while wounding nine others.

A former student killed three nine-year olds and three members of staff at a Christian private school in Nashville, Tennessee on 27 March.


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