Alabama| Four people were killed and 28 others were injured, some critically, in a shooting at a birthday party on Saturday night in the city of Dadeville, Ala., authorities said.
The attack took place at the Mahogany Masterpiece dance studio just after 10:30 p.m. local time as people gathered for a Sweet 16 celebration.
By Sunday evening, law enforcement officials still had not provided any details about a motive or whether any suspects had been identified.
“This is also a very fluid situation,” Sgt. Jeremy Burkett of the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency said during a press conference, adding that officials are still trying to confirm who was in the studio building at the time of the incident.
He did not specify how many of those 28 injured were injured by gunshots or how many of those injured were in critical condition.
He urged community members to come forward with any information that may be helpful to the investigation, which the ALEA launched at the request of the Dadeville police chief.
Heidi Smith, the marketing director of Ivy Creek Healthcare, which runs a hospital in Dadeville, said the hospital treated at least 15 gunshot victims.
Smith said at least 17 ambulances responded to the scene. Some victims were treated and released from the Lake Martin Community Hospital, while several additional victims were transferred to other hospitals — including flown to a trauma center in Birmingham, she added.
Annette Allen said that it was her granddaughter’s 16th birthday party where the attack occurred. Allen’s grandson, a high school athlete, was killed by the gunfire, while her daughter was wounded and sent to an area hospital.
“This is a small community and they just wanted to enjoy the birthday party,” Allen told NPR member station Troy Public Radio. “We had to be standing and waiting for bodies to brought out.”
Phil Dowdell, her grandson, was weeks from graduation and planned to attend Jacksonville State on a football scholarship, Allen told the Montgomery Advertiser.
Rich Rodriguez, the head football coach at the Alabama university, mourned the death of Dowdell in a statement on Twitter.
“Jax State Football is heartbroken to have lost an upcoming member of our program,” Rodriguez said. “He was a great young man with a bright future.”