Four dead, 28 injured in Dadeville shooting

Published 11:09 pm Sunday, April 16, 2023

The Dadeville community gathered at a First Baptist Church (FBC) of Dadeville prayer vigil tonight, mourning the deaths of four people and praying for the recovery of 28 others injured in a mass shooting Saturday night at Mahogany Masterpiece in Dadeville Saturday night.

And, while the community works to support the victims and their families, investigators with the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency’s (ALEA) State Bureau of Investigations (SBI), the Dadeville Police Department, and the Tallapoosa County Sheriff’s office have been working since late Saturday evening, combing the scene and following tips which may lead to the shooter.

“The investigation is a result of a shooting which occurred at approximately 10:34 p.m. near the 200 block of Broadnax Street in Dadeville, located in Tallapoosa County,” said ALEA Sergeant Jeremy Burkett in a Sunday release. “Currently, there have been four confirmed fatalities and multiple injuries.”

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At approximately 11:45 p.m Saturday, Special Agents with SBI launched a death investigation at the request of the Dadeville Police Chief Jonathan Floyd.

ALEA has not yet released the names of those killed, but a tweet from Jacksonville State University (JSU) head football coach Rich Rodrigues confirmed one of the lives lost was Philstavious Dowdell, a star Dadeville High School football player who had just committed to join the JSU program in the fall.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of Philstavious Dowdell and the other victims of the senseless tragedy last night,” Rodrigues tweeted. “He was a great young man with a bright future. My staff and I are heartbroken and hope that everyone will support his family through this difficult time.”

Ben Hayes, FBC Dadeville’s pastor and also chaplain for the high school football team, said Dowdell was celebrating his sister Alex’s birthday with friends at the venue before he was shot.

While officials say the public is not in danger, authorities have not yet released information about whether a suspect has been identified.

Burkett thanked the community for their continued support during the investigation.

“There’s been an overwhelming show of support from the community for us,” Burkett said. “If not for what you are doing, for the information that’s being provided right now and the support you’re showing us, we would not be able to do our job.”

Burkett confirmed the number of dead and injured, five of whom were critically injured and others less severely.

“Some of those injuries are critical,” Burkett said. “We absolutely need everyone to continue to pray for those individuals, to allow them to recover from what they’re enduring, as well as their families.”

Burkett urged community members with information to come forward.

“We’re going to do exactly what is needed to ensure justice is brought to bear for those families,” Burkett said. “We’ve got to have information from the community. So, if you are at home right now or you know somebody who has any information about what occurred last night, I cannot stress this enough. We absolutely need you to share [this information].”

At a Sunday morning press conference, Floyd requested prayers for the city of roughly 3,200 residents, a city he described as a tight knit community full of wonderful people.

“One thing I want you to know about the City of Dadeville, Dadeville is a tight knit community full of wonderful people,” Floyd said. “I ask you to please keep our community in your prayers.

“I ask you to keep my police department in your prayers and also ask each of you please do not let this moment define what you think about the City of Dadeville and our fine people. What we’ve dealt with is something that no community should have to endure.”

Tallapoosa County Schools Superintendent Raymond Porter echoed the police chief’s sentiments and encouraged parents with affirmation that the school system will provide counselors to help students through the tragedy.

“[The shooting] does not represent our children and it does not represent who we are,” Porter said. “I want to offer a word of encouragement to parents. We will have counseling provided for students at school tomorrow. We will make every effort to comfort those children and not lose sight of the fact that those are the ones most impacted by the situation.”

Porter said the system has asked local clergy to help by reaching out to families of victims and help them through the difficult situation.

Burkett said that Central Alabama Crimestoppers has offered a reward for information. Individuals can reach Crimestoppers at 1-833-AL1-STOP.

Anyone with information about this case can call 1-800-3952-8011 or email ALEA’s SBI at