(DADEVILLE, Ala.) — Four people were killed and 28 others injured when a mass shooting broke out at a crowded sweet 16 birthday party in rural Dadeville, Alabama, on Saturday night, authorities said.
Here’s how the news is developing. All times Eastern:
Apr 17, 9:32 AM EDT
Police have ‘solid leads’ but need help from public
The Dadeville Police Department has “solid leads” as they search for the suspected shooter, but authorities still need help from the public, Dadeville Police Chief Jonathan Floyd told ABC News on Monday.
Floyd asked anyone with photos or videos from Saturday night’s sweet 16 party to come forward.
Due to the department’s manpower and resources, Floyd said the Alabama State Bureau of Investigations is taking the lead with the investigation.
-ABC News’ Elwyn Lopez
Apr 16, 7:00 PM EDT
Star high school athlete killed in shooting
One of the four people killed in the mass shooting in Dadeville, Alabama, was a star high school football player and track team member, his coach told ABC News.
Philstavious “Phil” Dowdell, a senior at Dadeville High School, had committed to attending Jacksonville State University on a football scholarship, said coach Roger McDowell.
McDowell said Dowdell was at a sweet 16 birthday party at a venue in Dadeville Saturday night when a shooting erupted.
In addition to those killed, at least 28 people were injured. McDowell said Dowdell’s mother, who was a chaperone at the party, was among those hurt, shot twice in the legs.
Rich Rodriguez, Jacksonville State’s head football coach, said in a post on Twitter Sunday, that the death of Dowdell and the other victims is a “senseless tragedy.”
“He was a great young man with a bright future,” Rodriguez tweeted. “My staff and I are heartbroken and hope that everyone will support his family through this difficult time.”
McDowell said he also knew a teenage girl who was killed in the shooting. He said she was a senior and the manager of the track and football teams.
In addition to being a standout wide receiver, Dowdell was also a member of the high school track team, McDowell said.
“Phil was humble with a major smile,” McDowell told ABC News. “He had one goal to get to the NFL and take care of his mom.”
-ABC News’ Elwyn Lopez
Apr 16, 6:45 PM EDT
28 injured, Alabama Law Enforcement Agency says
The number of people injured during the course of the incident is 28, the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency said Sunday.
Some of those injuries are critical, and there’s a wide variety of injures, according to the ALEA.
Authorities didn’t mention a suspect or suspects, or an arrest, as of Sunday evening. Police said earlier in the day there was “no public safety risk at this time.”
Central Alabama Crime Stoppers is offering a reward for any information.
-ABC News’ Matt Foster
Apr 16, 4:20 PM EDT
Biden calls on congress to enact gun reform
President Joe Biden released a statement Sunday calling on Congress to enact “common sense” gun control legislation in response to shootings over the weekend in Alabama and Kentucky that left a total of six people dead.
“This morning, our nation is once again grieving for at least four Americans tragically killed at a teen’s birthday party in Dadeville, Alabama as well as two others killed last night in a crowded public park in Louisville,” Biden said. “Jill and I are praying for their families, and for the many others injured and fighting for their lives in the wake of this weekend’s gun violence.”
As he has done in previous mass shootings, Biden urged Congress to enact gun reform legislation.
“What has our nation come to when children cannot attend a birthday party without fear? When parents have to worry every time their kids walk out the door to school, to the movie theater, or to the park?” Biden said. “Guns are the leading killer of children in America, and the numbers are rising — not declining.”
Biden said the level of gun violence in America is “outrageous and unacceptable,” and noted that Americans “agree and want lawmakers to act on common sense gun safety reforms.”
“Instead, this past week Americans saw national Republican elected leaders stand alongside the NRA in a race to the bottom on dangerous laws that further erode gun safety. Our communities need and deserve better,” said Biden.
Apr 16, 1:05 PM EDT
Biden briefed on Dadeville shooting
President Joe Biden has been briefed on the deadly shooting at a birthday party in Dadeville, Alabama, according to the White House.
Biden and his staff are closely monitoring the investigation and has been in touch with local officials and law enforcement to offer support, according to the White House.
Apr 16, 12:40 PM EDT
Police chief pleads for prayer
An emotional Dadeville police chief pleaded for prayer for his city on Sunday and law enforcement investigators pleaded for tips from the public in finding those responsible for a shooting at a birthday party that left four dead and multiple people injured.
“The city of Dadeville is a tight-knit community, full of wonderful people. I ask you to please keep our community in your prayers. I ask you to please keep my police department in your prayers,” Police Chief Jonathan Floyd said at a news conference.
Sgt. Jeremy Burkett of the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency confirmed the shooting broke out at a birthday party and asked for any witnesses to call the state police tip line at .
Burkett also confirmed that four people were killed and “a multitude” of people were injured, but did not disclose the conditions of those wounded.
Burkett did not take questions during the news conference. He released no information on whether any arrests have been made in the incident.
Tallapoosa County Schools Superintendent Raymond Porter said grief counselors will be at Dadeville schools on Monday, but did not say whether any students were among the dead or injured.
The district will make “every effort to comfort” children impacted, said Porter.
“Don’t lose sight of the fact that those are the ones most impacted by this situation,” said Porter, who also called on local clergy to reach out to families of those killed or injured to offer assistance.
“I’m also asking that you please do not let this moment define what you think of the city of Dadeville,” Floyd said. “What we’re dealing with is something no community should have to endure.”
Apr 16, 10:48 AM EDT
Loved ones of those killed, injured say shooting preceded by argument: Pastor
Ben Haynes, the senior pastor at First Baptist Church in Dadeville, told ABC News Sunday morning that he’d been at a hospital overnight with the families of those killed and injured.
Haynes said family members told him gunfire erupted inside a small venue where a birthday party was taking place when tempers flared during an argument. Haynes said there were more than 50 people at the party when the shooting occurred.
Apr 16, 10:14 AM EDT
‘I grieve with Dadeville’: Alabama governor
Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey released a statement Sunday expressing grief over a shooting at a birthday party in Dadeville, Alabama, that left four people dead and multiple others injured.
“This morning, I grieve with the people of Dadeville and my fellow Alabamians. Violent crime has NO place in our state, and we are staying closely updated by law enforcement as details emerge,” Ivey tweeted.
Copyright © 2023, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.