What we know about the victims of the Sweet 16 birthday party shooting in Alabama

What we know about the victims of the Sweet 16 birthday party shooting in Alabama

(CNN) When a room full of Sweet 16 attendees in Dadeville, Alabama moved to the sound of a DJ on Saturday night, their party came to an abrupt end. Gun blast It injured dozens and killed four partygoers, at least two of whom were local high school seniors on the verge of graduation.

Philstavious Dowdell, one of the victims, is the brother of the birthday girl, according to people who knew him.

The shooting devastated the town of about 3,000 people, where “everybody knows everybody,” Dadeville High School football team chaplain Ben Hayes told CNN.

“I know these kids personally. Most people do,” said Hayes, who is a church pastor and chaplain for the Dadeville Police Department.

At least 28 people, many of them teenagers, were injured in the mass shooting. A hospital that received 15 injured teenagers said on Sunday it had treated and released six patients and transferred the rest to other facilities. A hospital spokesperson said that 5 of them are in critical condition and 4 are stable.

Here’s what we know about the victims so far.

Cake Smith

KK Smith is a high school senior looking forward to attending the University of Alabama, said Amy Jackson, who identified herself as Smith’s cousin.

“She was always smiling,” Jackson said.

He said it was Smith’s mother who told Jackson her cousin had been killed.

Smith was the student athletic manager for Dadeville High School’s track team and helped with the basketball team, assistant football, track and basketball coach Michael Taylor said. He recently tore his ACL and had to step back from running.

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Philstavious Dowdell

Dowdell was a gifted athlete who excelled in football, basketball and track at Dadeville High, Taylor said.

“God blessed him to do whatever he put his hands on,” said Taylor, who has coached Dowdall since he was 9 years old.

According to Taylor, Dowdell, the oldest of three siblings, was killed while attending her younger sister’s birthday party. Hayes, the priest, and Keenan Cooper, who was a DJ at the party, confirmed Dowdell was among those killed.

A month ago, the coach said, “If something happens to me, even when I go to college, take care of my two sisters,” Dowdell told him.

The young man had received a scholarship to play football at Alabama’s Jacksonville State University, Cooper said, describing Dowdell as “like a hometown hero.”

Jacksonville State head coach Rich Rodriguez said A statement Dowdell on Sunday was “a great young man with a bright future.”

“Our thoughts and prayers are with Philstavious Dowdell and the rest of the family affected by last night’s senseless tragedy,” Rodriguez said Sunday.

Dadeville’s Philstavious Dowdell (7) tackles an opponent during a football game on Oct. 08, 2021.

Taylor described Dowdall as a humble person who knew her “like a son,” explaining that her own college-age son was very close to Dowdall and that the two often trained together.

“His grandmother gave him a scripture every morning before he went to school to make sure he was always on point,” the coach said.

CNN’s Tina Burnside, Dianne Gallagher, Chris Boyette and Amanda Jackson contributed to this report.


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