Birthday Party Shooting Kills 4, Wounds 15 Teens

Pastor says most people in Alabama town knew the victims
By Newser Editors,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 16, 2023 8:43 AM CDT
Updated Apr 16, 2023 4:15 PM CDT
At Least 4 Dead in Shooting at Teen Party
Investigators work at the site of a fatal shooting in downtown Dadeville, Ala., on Sunday.   (AP Photo/Jeff Amy)

A shooting at a Sweet 16 birthday celebration in Dadeville, Alabama, on Saturday night sent at least 15 teenagers to hospitals with gunshot wounds, in addition to leaving four people dead. Five of the wounded teenagers were in critical condition Sunday, CNN reports. Authorities in the town of 3,000 had not released any information on the victims, whether a suspect was in custody, or what might have led to the shooting at the Mahogany Masterpiece Dance Studio as of Sunday afternoon. "I just ask for your patience," said one police official, per the AP. "It's going to be a long process."

"It's a very close, tight-knit community. Everybody knows everybody," said Ben Hayes, senior pastor of the First Baptist Church. "That's why this is so difficult," he said, adding: "I knew these kids personally. Most people did." Annette Allen told the Montgomery Advertiser her grandson was shot to death while celebrating his sister Alexis' birthday. Phil Dowdell was a high school senior headed to Jacksonville State on a football scholarship. "He was a very, very humble child," she said, with "a million-dollar smile." His mother was among those wounded, per the AP. This file has been updated. (More Alabama stories.)

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