State Rep. Ed Oliver (R-Dadeville) said he and other community members are patiently waiting for information about a deadly shooting that claimed four lives and injured 28 people over the weekend.
"We're just heartbroken this happened in Dadeville," he said. "This is a great community where I've lived all my life and I never, ever thought anything like this could happen here."
The shooting happened Saturday around 10:30 p.m. at Mahogany Masterpiece Dance Studio during a sweet 16 birthday party. That is the same time Oliver was at Jack's Restaurant after returning from a speaking engagement in Birmingham. He was on the scene just minutes after the shooting.
Oliver told 1819 News he was very concerned about who was responsible. The Alabama Law Enforcement Agency (ALEA) is investigating but has not released information about who they think the shooter or shooters were. The agency said Sunday that investigators are going about the complex investigation very methodically.
Although he hasn't gotten any insider information, Oliver said he believed more would become available soon.
"It is unusual, but we feel like this is part of something bigger that we don't understand," said Oliver. "We will just have to wait a day; bad guys have cars, so they can come from anywhere."
During his career, Oliver flew an air ambulance for 15 years. He said after responding for years to tragic incidents. It was always more difficult to deal with those that involved the death of a child.
"That is heart-wrenching," he added. "And I don't care who you are or how many times you've seen it, that's tough stuff."
When he returned home, Oliver said he called his son, an Auburn fireman, who also responded and helped with triage at the hospital.
Oliver said law enforcement and emergency crews came together Saturday night, and he was proud of what he saw.
"I would like to commend the first responders from Saturday night," said Oliver. "Our mutual aid plan worked perfectly and even though there was a lot of chaos, we were able to perform triage on the patients and get them where they needed to go quickly. Very impressive. Nothing you can say but good things about the way that worked. So that's the shining light in the middle of all this horror."
Oliver said he had contacted the governor's office and informed investigators he was available to assist with any state resources if needed.
SEE ALSO: Alabama officials mourn with Dadeville community over deadly shooting — 'Violent crime has NO place in our state'
ALEA is asking for information from the public. ALEA's State Bureau of Investigation (SBI) is taking tips by phone at 1-800-392-8011 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. 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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