Phil Dowdell has been identified among the four students fatally shot at his little sister’s “sweet 16” party on Saturday. According to reports, Phil was “committed to playing wide receiver at Jacksonville State University, was one of the best players in the state”.
The details via New York Post;
A high-school football star and honor student set to graduate and play ball in college was among four people killed at a “Sweet 16” party for his little sister in Alabama on Saturday night.
“He was the No. 1 athlete in the school,’’ said Michael Taylor, an assistant football, basketball and track coach at Dadeville High.
“The first thing we’ve got to do is we’ve got to pray our way out of this,” Taylor said. “There ain’t no other way. … They’re all real close, like family, at the high school.”
The tragic high-school senior was slain at the celebration for his sibling Alexis, his stricken grandmother, Annette Allen, said to the Montgomery Adviser.
“He was a very, very humble child. Never messed with anybody. Always had a smile on his face,” Allen said.
A week ago, Dowdell posted on Facebook, “everyday my life go up & up, it’s hard for me to get mad.”
The same day, he shared snaps of himself and his senior-prom date, both of whom wore sparkly yellow outfits, with him in shorts and a matching jacket.
His sister updated her Facebook profile picture Sunday morning to a photo of her kissing her brother’s cheek.
Another murdered victim was identified as fellow Dadeville High School senior and former athlete KeKe Nicole Smith, who was described as “so full of love.”
Nearly 30 people were also injured in the melee, including Dowdell’s mother, who sustained two gunshot wounds, Allen said.
Dowdell, who had a “million-dollar smile,” was getting ready to graduate before heading off to Jacksonville State on a football scholarship, his grandma said.
In a statement on Sunday, the university’s head football coach mourned the tragedy that killed Dowdell and the others.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of Philstavious Dowdel and the other victims of the senseless tragedy last night,” Jax Head Coach Rich Rodriguez said in a Twitter post.
“He was a great young man with a bright future,” Rodriguez wrote. “My staff and I are heartbroken and hope that everyone will support his family through this difficult time.”
Mass shootings are becoming common in the States and it’s time some laws are made to curb this menace. It’s time for a second look at America’s gun laws.
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