April 17 (UPI) — Alabama high school football star Philstavious Dowdell, who committed to play at Jacksonville State, was among those killed in a Sweet 16 birthday party shooting in Dadeville, his family and school said. He was 18.
Alabama Law Enforcement Agency officials said Sunday at a news conference that at least four people died and more than 20 others were injured in the shooting Saturday night in downtown Dadeville. Authorities have yet to publicly identify a shooter.
Dowdell’s grandmother, Annette Allen, told the Montgomery Advertiser that her grandson died from injuries sustained in the shooting. The Dadeville High School football star was celebrating his sister’s birthday.
The Advertiser also reported that Dowdell’s mother was among those injured.
Dadeville football team chaplain Ben Hayes confirmed Dowdell’s death Sunday during a news conference. Sources told CNN, the Alexander City Outlook and AL.com that Dadeville High School senior Keke Smith also was killed.
Dowdell committed in February to play at Jacksonville State. He was an All-State defensive back and split time as a wide receiver and returner. Dowdell also played basketball and ran track.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of Philstavious Dowdell and the other victims of the senseless tragedy [Saturday],” Jacksonville State football coach Rich Rodriguez said in a statement.
“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.”
Officials have asked for anyone with information to call 800-392-8011 or email [email protected]