Mass Shooting at Alabama Birthday Party Leaves 4 Dead and Multiple Injured

At least four people were killed and several others were injured in a shooting at a birthday party on Saturday night in an Alabama city, officials said.

Sgt. Jeremy Burkett, a spokesman for the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency, said at a news conference on Sunday that the shooting in Dadeville took place around 10:34 p.m. and that there were a “multitude of injuries.”

“This is going to be a long, complicated process,” said Sergeant Burkett, who did not provide information on a motive for the shooting or specify how many people were injured. Officials did not take questions at the news conference.

The shooting took place at the Mahogany Masterpiece dance studio, where teenagers had gathered for a birthday party, The Montgomery Advertiser reported. Dadeville is about 60 miles northeast of Montgomery, and about 3,000 people live there.

The studio hosted Zumba and line dancing classes for children and teenagers and had been rehearsing for a dance showcase celebrating its second anniversary on April 29, according to its Facebook page. A representative of the studio could not be immediately reached on Sunday.

Officials did not specify the ages of the victims, but the superintendent of the Tallapoosa County Board of Education, Raymond Porter, said at the news conference that schools would provide counseling to students on Monday.

“We will make every effort to comfort those children,” Mr. Porter said. “And don’t lose sight of the fact that those are the ones most impacted by this situation.”

Gov. Kay Ivey of Alabama said on Twitter on Sunday morning that her office was receiving updates about the shooting.

“This morning, I grieve with the people of Dadeville and my fellow Alabamians,” the governor said. “Violent crime has NO place in our state, and we are staying closely updated by law enforcement as details emerge.”

Senator Katie Boyd Britt, Republican of Alabama, said on Twitter that her “heart breaks waking up” to the shooting.

“Please join me in lifting up the victims, their loved ones, and the Dadeville community in prayer,” she wrote.

The Alabama Law Enforcement Agency said that the police chief in Dadeville asked it to investigate. The Dadeville Police Department is being helped by the Tallapoosa County Sheriff’s Office, the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the F.B.I. and the local district attorney’s office.

Guns are the leading killer of children in the United States, making it an extreme outlier compared with similarly large and wealthy nations. In 2020, gun violence surpassed car accidents and disease to become the leading killer of children.

The gun death rate for children in the United States is nearly five in every 100,000. The rate had been flat for more than a decade starting in 2000 and started to creep up in 2014. Researchers who study gun violence say that it is difficult to explain why the rate has risen so quickly, but most emphasize that the proliferation of guns has most likely played a role.

Isabella Kwai contributed reporting.

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