An Alabama police officer checks his phone as investigators work at the scene of a fatal shooting in downtown Dadeville, Alabama, Sunday, April 16, 2023. (AP Photo/Jeff Amy)

DADEVILLE, Ala. (AP) — Authorities in Alabama were pleading with the public Sunday for information about a shooting that left four dead and 28 injured at a teenage girl’s birthday party.

Among the dead was a high school student who planned to play college football and was celebrating his sister’s 16th birthday. The shooting broke out Saturday night at a dance hall in downtown Dadeville.

Sergeant Jeremy Burkett of the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency did not take questions at two press conferences on Sunday. He did not say whether a suspect was in custody or whether investigators knew why. He also did not release the names of those killed.

“We need to get information from the community,” Burkett said at Sunday night’s press conference.

Philstavious “Phil” Dowdell, a high school student from Dadeville who committed to Jacksonville State University, was celebrating his sister Alexis’ birthday before he was shot and killed, his grandmother Annette Allen told the Montgomery Advertiser newspaper.

“He was a very, very humble boy. He never bothered anyone. He was always smiling,” Allen told the newspaper, referring to his “million dollar smile.”

Dowdell’s mother was injured in the shooting.

“Everyone is in mourning,” Allen added.

Burkett said the shooting happened around 10:30 p.m. Saturday. “Four lives were tragically lost in this incident,” he said.

The shooting rocked the town of 3,200, located about 92 miles northeast of Montgomery, Alabama.

Keenan Cooper, the party’s DJ, told WBMA-TV the party was interrupted for a while when attendees heard someone had a gun. He said the armed people were asked to leave the scene, but no one did. Cooper said that when the shooting began soon after, some people took cover under the table he was standing on and others hurriedly ran away.


Chandler reported from Huntsville, Alabama.

The scene of the shooting in Dadeville, Alabama on April 15, 2023. (Elizabeth White/WRBL via AP)
The scene of the shooting in Dadeville, Alabama on April 15, 2023. (Elizabeth White/WRBL via AP)

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