Community reacting after Alabama birthday party mass shooting
By WSFA 12 News Staff
Published: Apr. 17, 2023 at 5:21 AM CDT
DADEVILLE, Ala. (WSFA) - Public officials, schools and community members are speaking out following a mass shooting during a sweet-16 birthday party in Dadeville Saturday.
Tallapoosa County Commissioner TC Coley spoke Monday morning about the senseless tragedy. Coley says the community is rallying around the victims and their families.
“You never want to see a tragedy like this, but if you’re going to have a tragedy, you want to have a supportive community, you want great first responders and things of that nature,” Coley said. “This community has been very fortunate to have that on the circumstances.”
Coley added that this tragedy will affect the community in the years to come.
“We have at least four families that are in the process of making final arrangements for their children. We also have 28 of the families whose children are in various states of my health, ranging from critical condition and some people with non-life threatening injuries. So, people are going to be dealing with this for months, if not years to come.”
Coley asked that people focus on supporting the families and prayers for healing instead of politics.
“I know that it was gonna be a lot of discussion around the debate about guns and gun control and legislation and stuff like that,” Coley added. “Unfortunately, that debate was going on before this event, it will continue after this event. So, for us, we will ask for prayers and people to focus on supporting the families and not to politicize this more than it has to be.”
Tallapoosa County Public Schools. Superintendent Raymond C. Porter spoke briefly during the Sunday morning news conference, thanking the community for its prayers and for law enforcement. Porter said he wanted to be clear that the shooting does not represent the Dadeville community. He added that counseling would be available to the system’s students starting Monday.
Pike Road Schools in Montgomery County also released a statement after learning one of its students was present during the shooting.
The mass shooting brought reactions from Alabama’s political and educational leaders, who offered prayers for those affected by Saturday’s violence.
My heart breaks waking up to the news this morning out of Tallapoosa County. Please join me in lifting up the victims, their loved ones, and the Dadeville community in prayer. My office will continue to monitor the situation as details emerge.
I ask all Alabamians to join me in lifting the Dadeville community toward the the Lord so He may shower everyone who suffered injury and loss with the strength, love, and consolation that only He can provide. “Blessed are they that mourn, for they shall be comforted” Matthew 5:4
The Attorney General has reached out and offered assistance to local officials in Tallapoosa County. We lift up in prayer all who have been impacted by the events in Dadeville and will support efforts to bring accountability to those who caused this tragic incident.