A mass shooting in Dadeville, Alabama, on Saturday night killed at least four people and injured multiple others, the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency (ALEA) said.
The incident occurred around 10:30 p.m. local time, according to ALEA. While details are still emerging, WRBL-TV reported that the shooting happened at a local dance studio. Witnesses told WRBL they heard screaming and multiple gunshots coming from inside the building, and the news station reported that more than 20 people had been shot, with varying degrees of injury.
No information about a suspect has been released. ALEA said that numerous federal agencies had responded to the scene, including the ATF and FBI, as well as local and state municipalities.
Pastor Ben Hayes, the chaplain of the Dadeville Police Department and the local high school football team, said most of the victims were teenagers because the dance hall was hosting a 16-year-old’s birthday party. “One of the young men that was killed was one of our star athletes and just a great guy,” Hayes told The Associated Press. “So I knew many of these students. Dadeville is a small town and this is going to affect everybody in this area.”
Dadeville, located about 55 miles northeast of Montgomery, Alabama, has a population of just 3,200 people, and is described as a tight-knit community. Violent crime in the town is extremely rare, AP noted.
Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey (R) wrote on Twitter, “This morning, I grieve with the people of Dadeville and my fellow Alabamians. Violent crime has NO place in our state, and we are staying closely updated by law enforcement as details emerge.”
There have been 163 mass shootings in the United States in 2023, according to the Gun Violence Archive. Just last week, a mass shooting at a bank in Lousiville, Kentucky, left five dead and eight injured.
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