DADEVILLE, Ala. (NEXSTAR) — The people killed in a weekend shooting at a teenager’s birthday party in Dadeville, Alabama, were identified Monday.
The four victims identified by the Tallapoosa County Coroner to Nexstar’s WRBL were 23-year-old Corbin Dahmontrey Holston, 18-year-old Philstavious “Phil” Dowdell, 19-year-old Marsiah Emmanuel “Siah” Collins, and 17-year-old Shaunkivia Nicole “Keke” Smith. All of the victims were from Dadeville or the surrounding area.
Authorities initially reported that 28 people had been injured. In a Monday evening update, the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency increased that number to 32. It wasn’t clear if all of those injured were shot or suffered other injuries. Their names and ages have not been released.
The Saturday night shooting happened at a 16th birthday party at a downtown Dadeville dance studio, and witnesses said many of those injured were teenagers.
The Associated Press reported Monday that the birthday party was for Philstavious Dowdell’s sister.
Dowdell was a Dadeville High School student who planned to attend Jacksonville State University to play football.
Michael Taylor, an assistant coach, said he met Dowdell when the boy was 9 and coached him in youth football. Taylor said the team was invited to Atlanta to play in the stadium used by the NFL’s Atlanta Falcons.
“He did some amazing things there, and he never stopped doing them since then,” he said. “He was the No. 1 athlete in the school.”
Smith was also a Dadeville High senior who managed the basketball and track teams. The 17-year-old wanted to attend the University of Alabama after graduating.
Collins graduated from Opelika High School (southeast of Dadeville) last year. He ran track, played football, and basketball. A former teacher told WRBL Collins was always smiling and cracking jokes, and was known for uplifting and encouraging others.
Collins’ father Martin told AL.com that his son was an aspiring rapper who planned to attend Louisiana State University.
Holston, a Dadeville High graduate, was also a former athlete for the school.
It’s still unclear who may have started the shooting and why, or whether investigators have made any arrests. Sgt. Jeremy Burkett of the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency did not take questions during news conferences Sunday.
Authorities renewed their call for those with information about the shooting to come forward in a Monday evening update. Investigators are still processing the scene but say they found “numerous shell casings used in handguns.”
Keenan Cooper, the DJ at the party, told WBMA-TV the party was stopped briefly when attendees heard someone had a gun. He said people with guns were asked to leave, but no one left. Cooper said when the shooting began some time later, some people took shelter under a table where he was standing, and others ran out.
At least five bullet holes were visible in the windows of the front of the dance studio Sunday. Investigators combed the scene for more than 12 hours, including climbing onto the roof of the one-story brick building to look for evidence.
The shooting sparked what Mayor Frank Goodman said was a “chaotic” scene at the town’s small hospital, where emergency workers, relatives and friends swarmed on Saturday. Some of the most severely injured people were taken to larger hospitals elsewhere in Alabama.
Antojuan Woody, from the neighboring town of Camp Hill, was a senior and fellow wide receiver with Dowdell on a Dadeville Tigers football team that went undefeated before losing in the second round of the playoffs last year. He said he and Dowdell had been best friends for all of their lives.
He described the victims “as great people who didn’t deserve what happened to them.”
Other Dadeville High students returned to class Monday, where Tallapoosa County Superintendent Raymond Porter said counselors would be present. The 485-student high school includes grades 6-12. It’s a center of civic life in the small town, where “Home of the Tigers” is painted on the water tower.
Dadeville, population 3,200, is tucked off a busy highway that runs from Birmingham to Auburn near Lake Martin, a popular recreational area.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.