Four Killed and 32 Injured In Dadeville, Alabama, Shooting



The Dadeville community honoring the lives of the shooting victims during a vigil

Alessandro De Stefano

On April 15th, 2023, a group of individuals opened fire on a 16th birthday party in downtown Dadeville, Alabama. Four children were murdered, and 32 were injured.

Alexis Dowdell was supposed to be experiencing a moment of jubilation at the Mahogany Masterpiece dance studio in Dadeville, Alabama, when gunmen entered her party. They were initially told to leave the party, which they complied to for about five minutes, before they entered the venue and began shooting in all directions. Chaos ensued as everybody in the building rushed for the exits. In the disorder the birthday girl, Alexis, said this about her brothers’ heroics, “And then all I remember is my brother grabbing me and pushing me down to the ground.” Four party goers were murdered while 32 were shot.

The investigations into the assailant are still ongoing. Currently there are five people being charged with four counts of reckless murder. Willie George Brown Jr. aged 19, Johnny Letron Brown aged 20, Wilson LaMar Hill Jr. aged 20, Ty Riek McCullough aged 17,  and an unnamed 15 year old. Currently there is no motive for the murder, but all accused parties are being held in jail. According to Fifth Circuit District Attorney Mike Segrest, more charges will come as “This is just the tip of the iceberg.”

There were four victims of the shooting who passed away. Philstavious Dowdell was an 18 year old senior at Dadeville High School, he was a star athlete looking forward to attending Jackson State University on a full ride football scholarship. Corbin Dahmonttrey Holston was a 23 year old man, he was not a guest at the party but was checking in on a younger family member who alerted him of trouble at the event. His mother spoke about his selflessness by saying, “Corbin was selfless when it came to his family and friends and always tried to be a protector.’’ Marsiah Emmanuel Collins was a 19 year old man, he participated in Dadeville High School’s varsity football program and was known as an open and welcoming man.  Shaunkivia (KeKe) Nicole Smith was a 17 year old senior at Dadeville High, she was the varsity basketball team’s manager and looked forward to attending the University of Alabama in the fall.

After the shooting, a large outpouring of support came from all around the world. City Council member Teneeshia Goodman-Johnson said, “Very athletic, very humble children, very respectful children… They just wanted to have fun, and that was taken from them.” Michael Taylor, a former coach of numerous shooting victims at Dadeville High spoke about the tight knit community, “They’re all like family, like brothers and sisters in a small town… This whole town is just in disbelief, like it’s a dream.”

Hopefully in the coming months the perpetrators of this terrible attack will be brought to justice in the eyes of the law.