1 month passes since deadly Dadeville mass shooting

It's been one month since the deadly mass shooting in Dadeville.
Published: May. 15, 2023 at 8:08 PM CDT
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DADEVILLE, Ala. (WSFA) - Monday marked one month since the horrific mass shooting in Dadeville that left four dead and 32 injured at a sweet 16 birthday party.

Dadeville Police Chief Jonathan Floyd says the deadly shooting at Mahogany Masterpiece dance studio on April 15 changed his community forever.

“The pain that I have seen, the tears that I’ve seen, the heartache that I’ve seen over this last month, it’s not something I’d wish on anybody,” Floyd said.

The chief added that there has been an outpouring of love since the tragedy.

“People who’ve had probably never heard of Dadeville have reached out,” he said.

Tallapoosa County Schools Superintendent Raymond Rorter said the magnitude of this tragedy still weighs heavily on both students and staff.

“It impacted our entire Tallapoosa County,” said Porter. “Keeping students first, that’s what we’re doing, but it’s also affected our staff. And so we are remembering them as well.”

That is why the school system has offered mental health support as they continue to grieve. Two Dadeville high school seniors, Phil Dowdell and Shaunkivia Smith, died in the shooting.

Porter said they will be recognized at the school’s graduation ceremony.

“We will recognize them along with their fellow seniors. They just won’t be there to accept their diplomas. They had met all the standards necessary to graduate. So a parent or family member will pick up their diploma as their name is called,” the superintendent said.

With the loss so fresh, Floyd said he wants to reassure everyone that his department will fully staff graduation to give attendees peace of mind.

“There are students who have physical wounds or students who have emotional wounds. And guess what? They deserve the best,” he said.

When it comes to graduation celebrations, Floyd encourages people to limit them to close family and friends.

“I encourage people to celebrate. This is something that’s worth celebrating. But however, I strongly discourage come one come all parties,” said Floyd.

Graduation will be held on May 25 at Tiger Stadium.

The school system is currently discussing ways to permanently honor Dowdell and Smith.

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