DADEVILLE, Ala. (WRBL) — A small, quiet town of about 3,000 people has been added to the list of mass shootings in the United States.
Hundreds of people gathered at First Baptist Church in Dadeville for a prayer vigil – grieving the lives lost in the shooting. The cries and wallows were magnified through the crowd of this small town.
“I can guarantee you 100 percent, Dadeville kids didn’t shoot Dadeville kids,” said Roger McDonald, the Dadeville High School football head coach. “I can tell you now that didn’t happen. And I hate the way that’s kind of being portrayed a little bit because that is not the case.”
One of Dadeville High School’s football and track stars, Philstavious Dowdell who went by Phil, was among the four victims shot to death. Dowdell was committed to play football at Jacksonville State University.
Daquan Doss grew up with Dowdell since kindergarten and called him his brother. The two stood next to each other moments before shots rang out.
“Like at the moment, he was going to turn around and tell me something, next thing I know they’re shooting,” said Doss. “I think he went right into it. I went the opposite way. I wish I could’ve pulled him my way.”
Players from the Dadeville High School football team wrapped their arms around each other.
Taniya Cox was among the victims affected. She was shot three times in her right arm. She doesn’t remember much, but made it out alive.
“I just know I ran up to the shooter and he told me to move so he won’t shoot me,” said Cox. “He told me to move so he wouldn’t shoot me.”
Cox remembered two separate shooters.
The community laid their hands on every single person effected by the tragedy: students, victims, survivors, law enforcement and community officials.
The church is meeting with students at Dadeville High School on Monday, offering counseling and support.