Alabama authorities confirmed Sunday evening that four people had died and 28 were wounded in a mass shooting at a “Sweet 16” birthday celebration Saturday night in Dadeville. But they provided no information about a suspect or suspects and did not take questions at a news conference.
Gunfire erupted at the celebration, held at Mahogany Masterpiece Dance Studio, at about 10:30 p.m., as CrimeOnline previously reported. The four fatalities were confirmed earlier Sunday, but authorities had said only that a “multitude” of people were injured.
Dadeville is a small town of about 3,200 people some 60 miles northeast of Montgomery.
Sgt. Jeremy Burkett of the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency said most of the victims were young people but did not provide a breakdown of ages. He also asked for information from the public.
“We’ve got to have information from the community,” he said. “Ever how minor you think it is, we absolutely need you to share it.”
Information can be shared with ALEA, he said, at 800-392-8011 or through Central Alabama Crimestoppers at 833-AL1-STOP.
Mike Segrest, the district attorney of Alabama’s 5th Judicial District, said that his office had activated victims’ and witness services, available through the office website at www.5thcircuitda.org.
While officials have not released the names of victims, the Alexander City Outlook reported that two of the fatalities were Dadeville High School seniors Phil Dowdell and KeKe Smith. Dowdell was a star football player who had committed to attending Jacksonville State University next year. The party was for his sister’s 16th birthday.
Fox 3 identified a third victim as Siah Collins.
Lake Martin Community Hospital treated 15 teenage patients for gunshot wounds Saturday night, spokesperson Heidi Smith said on Sunday, the Outlook said. She said six of those were treated and discharged, and the remaining nine were transferred to another hospital for a higher level of care. Four of those were stable and five were critical when they were transferred, but Smith had no information about their conditions since.
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[Featured image: Alexander City Outlook screenshot]