Alabama Shooting
A bullet hole in a window at the scene of a shooting in Dadeville, Alabama GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA via AFP / Megan Varner

A mass shooting at a "Sweet 16" party in Dadeville, Alabama gripped the United States over the weekend. Reports have now emerged that among the casualties is a senior high school student named Phil Dowdell, who was set to go to Jacksonville State University on a football scholarship.

The incident took place on Saturday at the birthday party of Alexis Dowdell, the younger sister of the student athlete. So far, four people have been confirmed dead, with over 20 others reportedly injured from the shooting incident that took place at around 10:34 p.m. at the Mahogany Masterpiece dance studio which is located near the 200 Block of Broadnax Street in Dadeville, located in Tallapoosa County.

Phil, who plays football as a wide receiver at Dadeville, was set to graduate from high school in a few weeks. He was then expected to head to Jacksonville State this fall where he has been accepted into a football scholarship program. Unfortunately, the dream of playing college football and possibly entering the NFL has been shattered after the tragic incident.

Over 20 other teenagers and other guests were injured at the party along with Alexis and Phil's mother, who received two gunshot wounds.

During a news conference, Sgt. Jeremy Burkett of the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency did not identify a suspect but has confirmed that there is no longer a threat to the general public. There is also no word regarding the motive behind the ruthless shooting. The investigation is ongoing, and law enforcement officers have held back on sharing more details about the suspect as well as the identities and ages of the other victims. However, social media is already flooded with unconfirmed reports stating the names of the other casualties.

USA Today has confirmed that at least fifteen teenagers were treated for gunshot wounds at Dadeville's Lake Martin Community Hospital in the immediate aftermath of the incident. At least five victims are believed to be in critical condition, while others are stable. Some of the other victims were airlifted to the Birmingham trauma center also in Alabama.

It was later confirmed that more victims were treated at the Russell Medical Center in Alexander City. It is customary for hospitals to transfer patients in case of emergency in order to make sure that each patient receives timely medical treatment especially when there are multiple victims and not enough manpower or other resources at one facility.

Over two hundred parents and other family members initially gathered at Lake Martin but many had to go from hospital to hospital in search of relatives and loved ones who had been at the party. In the chaos, some family members were not immediately able to locate some of the victims who were sent for treatment.

Worried family members flooded the lobby of the hospital as the police and community leaders tried to disseminate information as quickly as possible. Senior pastor Ben Hayes, of the Dadeville First Baptist Church and the team chaplain of Dadeville High School, was on site to comfort members of the tight-knit community. He personally knew the victims, including Phil.

He led a vigil at the First Baptist Church on Sunday afternoon, where one of the victims named Taniya Cox provided clues about what exactly happened. She arrived with her arm in a cast after having been treated for two gunshot wounds.

"The mother said whoever had guns had to get out and they didn't get out and five minutes later the shooting started," she said, dropping a hint that the celebrant's mother knew that some people at the venue were carrying firearms. Cox then relayed how she was shot while she was running away from the chaos. She then implied that there were multiple shooters and had specific targets when she said "They told me to get out of the way."