A Sweet 16 birthday party in Dadeville, Alabama, turned deadly on Saturday night when a shooting occurred, leaving at least four people dead and several others wounded. The incident happened at the Mahogany Masterpiece dance studio around 10:30 p.m. local time.
Details of the shooting are still unknown, including the number of suspects involved and a possible motive. The Alabama Law Enforcement Agency has launched an investigation into the incident, and the Dadeville police chief has requested their assistance.
Heidi Smith, the marketing director of Ivy Creek Healthcare, stated that the hospital treated at least 15 gunshot victims, while multiple other victims were transferred to other hospitals, including a trauma center in Birmingham.
Annette Allen, whose granddaughter’s birthday party was being celebrated at the dance studio, reported that her grandson, a high school athlete, was killed by the gunfire, and her daughter was injured and sent to a nearby hospital. Allen expressed her grief and said, “This is a small community, and they just wanted to enjoy the birthday party. We had to be standing and waiting for bodies to be brought out.”
Dadeville is a small town with a population of around 3,000 and is located approximately an hour’s drive from Montgomery, the state capital. The shooting has caused shock and sadness in the town, with the Dadeville Police Chief describing it as a “tightknit community full of wonderful people.”
Gun violence in the United States has become the leading cause of death among children and teenagers, surpassing car accidents. So far this year, there have been 163 mass shootings in the country, excluding the Dadeville incident, according to the Gun Violence Archive.
President Joe Biden has been briefed on the shooting and is closely monitoring the situation. The White House has been in contact with local authorities to offer support.
The shooting has left the Dadeville community mourning, with Governor Kay Ivey expressing her grief and emphasizing that violent crime has no place in Alabama. As authorities continue their investigation, the town is left to come to terms with this tragic event.