Victims identified in Dadeville shooting

Published 12:02 pm Monday, April 17, 2023

Officials have released the names of four victims killed Saturday in the Dadeville mass shooting.

Tallapoosa County Coroner Mike Knox shared the names of the four lives taken by the shooter in a release to local news affiliate WRBL News 3, Monday morning.

Knox identified the victims as 23-year-old Corbin Holston of Dadeville, 18-year-old Philstavious Dowdell of Camp Hill, 19-year-old Marsiah Collins of Opelika, and 17-year-old Dadeville resident Shaunkivia Smith.

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Twenty eight others were injured in the shooting, which happened around 10:34 p,m. at the Mahogany Masterpiece dance study during a “sweet 16” birthday party for Dowdell’s sister Alex.

Lake Martin Hospital Director of Marketing Heidi Smith reported 15 injured teens were treated at the Dadeville facility and of those, six were treated and released while the other nine were transported to sister facilities.

Lake Martin Hospital Director of Marketing Heidi Smith reported 15 injured teens were treated at the Dadeville facility and of those, six were treated and released while the other nine were transported to sister facilities. 

“Five of those were in critical condition and four were stable,” Smith said. “All nine were placed in other hospitals. We sent people to Baptist South in Montgomery, to Piedmont, to the University of Alabama, as well as Children’s Hospital.”

Smith confirmed that all the injured treated at the Dadeville hospital were teenagers and commended hospital staff for holding up under the pressure of treating local teens after the tragic shooting.

“When you have 15 [injured patients] and they’re all teenagers, our staff has been through a lot and they stood up like troopers,” Smith said.

The Dadeville community gathered at a First Baptist Church (FBC) of Dadeville prayer vigil Sunday evening, mourning the deaths of four people and praying for the recovery of the injured.

Smith said the hospital’s focus shifts now to providing support for the community by offering counseling to hospital staff, students, parents, or anyone else needing help to deal with feelings invoked by the tragedy.

“The hospital’s role now is to take care of our staff,” Smith said. “Many of our staff attended the vigil we had last night in Dadeville and reached out to lots of family members. We’re going to be doing free counseling all day for family members of the victims, for children at the high school, and for our staff members.”

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 continue working to determine the facts and secure justice for the victims and their families.

At approximately 11:45 p.m. Saturday, Special Agents with the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency’s (ALEA) State Bureau of Investigations (SBI) launched a death investigation at the request of the Dadeville Police Chief Jonathan Floyd.

A Sunday 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.”

ALEA Sergeant Jeremy 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].”

Tallapoosa County Schools Superintendent Raymond Porter said the system has asked local clergy to support impacted families by reaching out and helping 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. Crimestoppers is asking anyone with video from inside the venue to submit the video for examination. Representatives all footage captured during the shooting could help identify the facts of the case.

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