A mass shooting broke out at a crowded “Sweet 16” birthday party in Alabama on Saturday night, injuring 28 and killing 4. The shooter remains at large. Biden renews calls for gun control.
Mass shooting breaks out at Sweet 16 birthday
A shooting broke out around 10:30 PM at a Sweet 16 birthday party held at a venue in downtown Dadeville, Alabama, on Saturday night. The violence resulted in 28 people injured and four dead, including two high school seniors on the brink of graduating.
Police have not specified whether the 28 people injured at the event were all shot. However, a police Sergeant did say some people were critically injured.
Keenan Cooper, who was working as the DJ at the party, said he didn’t notice any fight or other disturbance occurring before or when the shots rang out, CNN reported.
At least 15 teenagers were hospitalized. One of the victims who died was KeKe Smith, a senior from Dadeville High School who was looking forward to attending the University of Alabama, her cousin Amy Jackson said.
Police have “solid leads,” still seeking public help
While police say they have “solid leads,” they are still asking for help from the public as they continue to search for the shooter, ABC News reported.
Special Agents with the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency’s (ALEA) State Bureau of Investigations (SBI) launched a death investigation at the request of the Dadeville Police Chief, according to a press release, Fox News reported.
Star athlete among the victims
Among the victims who died in the shooting were a high school football star and honor student about to graduate and play college ball. He had been attending the “Sweet 16” party for his little sister, Alexis, the New York Post reported.
The victim, Philstavious “Phil” Dowdell, recently committed to playing wide receiver at Jacksonville State University and was considered one of the best players in the state, a coach told AL.com.
“He was the No. 1 athlete in the school,” said Michael Taylor, an assistant football, basketball, and track coach at Dadeville High.
“He was a very, very humble child,” his grandmother, Annette Allen, said. “Never messed with anybody. Always had a smile on his face.”
Biden renews calls for Congress to enact and reform
President Joe Biden released a statement Sunday in which he called on Congress to enact “common sense” gun control legislation. Biden’s comments come in response to a pair of shootings over the weekend in Alabama and Kentucky that left a total of six people dead, ABC reported.
“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.”