Mass shooting rocks Dadeville community
Published 2:18 pm Sunday, April 16, 2023
Four people were killed and many more injured in a mass shooting in Dadeville Saturday night.
The Alabama Law Enforcement Agency (ALEA) confirmed Sunday morning that the shooting occurred around 10: 30 p.m. at a teenager’s birthday party.
“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 ALEA’s State Bureau of Investigations (SBI) launched a death investigation at the request of the Dadeville Police Chief Jonathan Floyd.
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.”
In the weight of the moment, Floyd asked listeners not to judge the small city by the horrendous murders, but to pray for law enforcement officers as they search for answers needed to bring justice to the community.
“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,” Floyd said. “What we’ve dealt with is something that no community should have to endure. I ask for your patience. I just ask for your patience. It’s gonna be a long process, but I do earnestly solicit your prayers.
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.
One local pastor, Ben Hayes at First Baptist Church in Dadeville, was on scene throughout the night, waiting with parents at Lake Martin Hospital to learn whether children were injured or dead.
Hayes, who is chaplain for the Dadeville High School football team and the city’s police department, summarized the community’s heartbreak in a Sunday morning social media post.
“My heart is broken today,” Hayes wrote. “I stood outside of Lake Martin Hospital until 3 a.m. watching hearts break as families learned that their child had been shot — or even worse, [was] dead. I talked with parents, educators, students, my football players, our pastors from First Baptist Church. No one knew what to say. Everyone was in shock.
“Police officers [stood] with looks of sadness on their faces. Nothing prepares you for this. Now, in just a couple of hours, I will stand in the pulpit of First Baptist Church Dadeville and preach about the power of Jesus – about the miracles He performed. But let me share this with you: the miracle is always in the ministry, and He has given us a calling to minister to broken, hurting people. So, church, I need you to rise up and join me as we show our community that God is still in control. That He has the power to heal broken hearts and to change lives. If we want the violence and evil to stop, then we must kneel in prayer and then stand and fight this battle with the weapons of our warfare. This battle cannot be won if we don’t work to change the hearts and lives of our children and our youth.”
On behalf of ALEA Secretary Hal Taylor, agency staff and officers, and SBI agents, Burkett expressed the agency’s deepest condolences, promising law enforcement agencies would cooperate to bring justice for the children and their families.
“We’re going to continue to work through a very methodical way to go through this scene, to look at the facts, and ensure that justice is brought to bear for the families,” Burkett said. “We will do that. We were able to confirm that this was tied to a birthday celebration. We can’t share anything further at this time.”
Officials will hold another press conference Sunday afternoon at 5 p.m. Anyone with information about this case can call 1-800-3952-8011 or email ALEA’s SBI at SBI.email@example.com.