The Alabama Law Enforcement Agency (ALEA) released little information Sunday following a deadly shooting at a "Sweet 16" birthday party in Dadeville. None of the multiple agencies that responded to the shooting have said whether or not a mass shooter is on the loose or if the community is in danger.
The shooting happened Saturday around 10:30 p.m. at Mahogany Masterpiece Dance Studio. Four people were killed, and 28 were injured.
Witnesses said there were around 50 attendees at the party.
Dadeville police responded and found multiple victims on the scene.
ALEA was called in at approximately 11:45 p.m. to investigate.
ALEA Sgt. Jeremy Burkett spoke at two press conferences Sunday and asked the public to come forward with information. He did not release any details on the identity of a possible suspect or on the identity of the victims.
According to multiple reports, Philstavious "Phil" Dowdell, was one of the victims. The senior at Dadeville High School committed to play football at Jacksonville State University (JSU) in February.
Burkett said some of those injured are in critical condition, and he asked for thoughts and prayers. He said the community has shown overwhelming support, and he thanked everyone for their patience. He said the situation is “very fluid” and investigators are trying to confirm every person that was in the venue during the shooting.
“We’re going through it in a very methodical way,” he said. “We’re not going to rush. We’re not going to rush to failure. We’re going to do exactly what we need to do to ensure justice is brought to bear for those families.”
Burkett has not returned a phone call from 1819 News.
State Sen. Jay Hovey (R-Auburn) posted on Facebook about the shooting.
“I’ve been honored to get to know so many wonderful people in Dadeville and Tallapooosa [sic] county over the last year,” he wrote. “My heart goes out to the entire community in the wake of the tragic events of last night.”
A prayer vigil was held Sunday evening at First Baptist Church Dadeville.
The Tallapoosa County Sheriff’s Office, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the District Attorney’s Office are assisting in the investigation.
Fifth Judicial Circuit District Attorney Mike Segrest thanked all of the agencies for their help and said there would be victim services available.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with all the families,” he said. “There just, there are no words to describe the emotions that we’re all feeling.”
ALEA is asking the public for information even if they don’t think what they know is important. Burkett said even minor details are important at this time. ALEA’s State Bureau of Investigation (SBI) is taking tips by phone at 1-800-392-8011 or by email at email@example.com. Anonymous calls may be made to Central Alabama Crimestoppers at 1-833-AL1-STOP. A reward is being offered for any information leading to an arrest.
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