Four people have tragically lost their lives and 28 more were injured in a shooting that occurred on Saturday night at a birthday party in Dadeville, Alabama.
The Alabama Law Enforcement Agency (ALEA) reported that some of the wounded are still in critical condition. Pastor Ben Hayes, chaplain for the Dadeville Police Department and local high school football team, revealed that the majority of the victims were teenagers.
The small town of Dadeville is shocked by the tragedy, as serious crime is usually not seen in the area. One of the young men killed was a star athlete and highly regarded person in the community. The Jacksonville State football program released a statement regarding Phil Dowdell, a multi-sport athlete from Dadeville who was slated to play football for the Gamecocks next season.
At a news conference on Sunday morning, Raymond Porter of Tallapoosa County Schools made note that counseling will be available to students on Monday.
President Joe Biden has been briefed on the shooting; the White House is actively monitoring the situation and providing support to local officials and law enforcement. In a statement Sunday, Biden asked the question, “What has our nation come to when children cannot attend a birthday party without fear?” He continued, “Guns are the leading killer of children in America, and the numbers are rising – not declining. This is outrageous and unacceptable.”
The incident is still under investigation and authorities are requesting community members to come forward and provide any information that may be pertinent.