Alabama city mourns after 4 killed at Candy 16 birthday celebration

  • The town of Dadeville is in mourning whereas Alabama legislation enforcement searches for clues in a capturing that killed 4 and injured 28.
  • It’s nonetheless unclear who began the capturing, and whether or not investigators have made any arrests.
  • Alabama had the fifth-highest price of gun deaths nationwide in 2020.

College students within the tiny Alabama city of Dadeville wore their black and gold college colours Monday as they mourned two seniors had been amongst 4 younger individuals killed by gunfire at a Candy 16 birthday celebration over the weekend.

Lower than six weeks from commencement, college, employees and college students filed previous flags at half-staff to satisfy counselors ready to speak concerning the capturing, which additionally injured 28 on the Mahogany Masterpiece dance studio off the courthouse sq.. The varsity, with its 485 college students in grades 6-12, is central to group life in Dadeville, inhabitants 3,200, the place “Dwelling of the Tigers” is painted on the water tower and native companies sport indicators proclaiming “That is Tiger Nation.”

Investigators had been nonetheless attempting to piece collectively what occurred on the get together, the place quite a few gunshots left the dance studio’s home windows pocked with bullet holes. Whereas police sought clues, others stated they had been tending the group’s coronary heart.

“It’s going to be a tricky time for commencement and for these youngsters,” stated Heidi Smith, a spokesperson for the 46-bed Lake Martin Neighborhood Hospital, the place plenty of victims had been handled. “We can be right here for them and their households for the length.”

The weekend was marked by a collection of high-profile shootings within the U.S. One left two individuals useless and 4 wounded Saturday in Louisville, Missouri; one other resulted in 4 males being shot — one fatally — in Los Angeles; and a 3rd left two ladies wounded at Lincoln College in southeastern Pennsylvania.


Dadeville locals had been fast to say that such violence was uncharacteristic of their group, however gun deaths are extra frequent in Alabama than in most locations. The state had the fifth-highest price of gun deaths nationwide in 2020, based on the U.S. Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention.

It wasn’t clear if all 28 individuals injured in Dadeville had been shot or if some suffered different accidents. Smith stated 15 individuals with gunshot wounds had been seen at her hospital. Extra had been taken to different amenities.

These killed had been recognized as Marsiah Emmanuel “Siah” Collins, 19, of Opelika; Corbin Dahmontrey Holston, 23, of Dadeville; Philstavious “Phil” Dowdell, 18, of Camp Hill and Shaunkivia Nicole “Keke” Smith, 17, of Dadeville, Tallapoosa County Coroner Mike Knox instructed The Alokito Mymensingh 24 on Monday. Family members had recognized Dowdell and Smith on Sunday.

It was nonetheless unclear who began the capturing or why, or whether or not investigators had made any arrests. Sgt. Jeremy Burkett of the Alabama Legislation Enforcement Company didn’t take questions throughout news conferences Sunday. Officers repeatedly requested others to return ahead with data on the capturing.

A lot of the general public consideration targeted on Dowdell, who performed broad receiver on the Dadeville Excessive soccer group in a state the place soccer guidelines Friday nights and Saturdays within the fall. The Tigers went undefeated in final 12 months’s common season earlier than dropping within the playoffs.

Two teens embrace at a prayer vigil on Sunday, April 16, 2023, outside First Baptist Church in Dadeville, Alabama.

Two teenagers embrace at a prayer vigil on Sunday, April 16, 2023, outdoors First Baptist Church in Dadeville, Alabama. (Alokito Mymensingh 24 Photograph/Jeff Amy)

The capturing occurred at his sister’s birthday celebration.

Michael Taylor, an assistant coach, stated he met Dowdell when the boy was 9 and coached him in youth soccer. The Tigers had been invited to Atlanta to play within the stadium utilized by the NFL’s Atlanta Falcons.

“He did some wonderful issues there, and he by no means stopped doing them since then,” Taylor stated of Dowdell, who additionally performed basketball and was a monitor standout. “He was the No. 1 athlete within the college.”

Antojuan Woody, one other senior, grew up in close by Camp Hill with Dowdell and was fellow broad receiver for the Tigers. The 2 had been finest associates all their lives.

“It hurts,” Woody stated as a gentle stream of associates and teammates walked over to hug him throughout a prayer vigil Sunday. “It’s unreal. I can’t imagine it.”

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Woody stated he and Dowdell had a particular relationship on the soccer subject. “Us being associates ceaselessly like that, our chemistry was spot on. We at all times celebrated collectively on the sector.”

Keenan Cooper, the DJ on the get together the place the shootings happened, instructed WBMA-TV the occasion was stopped briefly when attendees heard somebody had a gun. He stated individuals with weapons had been requested to depart, however nobody did.

The capturing sparked what Mayor Frank Goodman stated was a “chaotic” scene on the city’s small hospital, the place emergency employees, family and associates swarmed on Saturday. Smith stated six individuals had been handled domestically and launched, however others had been transferred to bigger hospitals in Birmingham, Montgomery and Opelika, Alabama, in addition to to Columbus, Georgia.

Peter Johnson