At least four people have died and others were injured after a gunman opened fire at a teenage birthday party in a southern US town, police said on Sunday (April 16th). and local media.
The shootings occurred around 10:30 p.m. in Dadeville, a small town in Alabama, in a downtown building, local authorities said in a statement, without indicating whether a suspect was in custody. "This act tragically claimed the lives of four people and left many injured," state police official Jeremy Burkett said at a press conference.
He later said that 28 people had been injured, several seriously, and urged residents to share any information they might have about the attack. Jeremy Burkett, however, did not provide further details on the circumstances of the tragedy or the shooter's motive. Law enforcement believe an altercation led to the tragedy, according to local broadcaster WRBL. An investigation is opened. Lake Martin Hospital received 15 injured, "most of them teenagers," said one of its officials, Heidi Smith. Other injured were treated elsewhere, she said.
The shots targeted a downtown venue where a teenage girl was celebrating her sixteenth birthday, the Montgomery Advertiser newspaper said. Her brother, a high school student, was among those killed, their grandmother told the daily.
He was an uneventful teenager, "who always had a smile on his face," she said. The tragedy "is something no city should have to experience," Dadeville Police Chief Jonathan Floyd said.
This small town of 3,000 people is located in the rural south of the United States, northeast of Montgomery, capital of Alabama. US President Joe Biden has been informed of these shootings and is monitoring the situation, the White House said. Local politicians, for their part, expressed their "pain".
This morning, I grieve with the people of Dadeville and my fellow Alabamians. Violent crime has NO place in our state, and we are staying closely updated by law enforcement as details emerge.
"Violent crime has no place in our state," Alabama Governor Kay Ivey tweeted. The Republican claimed to be "kept informed" by law enforcement. Senator Katie Britt said she was "heartbroken".
A press conference is scheduled for Sunday morning. The United States pays a very heavy price for the spread of firearms in its territory and the ease with which Americans have access to them. Saturday evening, other shootings left at least two dead and four injured in a park in Louisville, Kentucky (Central East), according to local police.
It is in this city that a young man had opened fire on Monday in the bank which employed him, killing five people. He had broadcast footage of the attack live on the Internet.
In late March, a person opened fire at a private elementary school in Nashville, Tennessee, killing three 9-year-old children and three employees, before being shot dead by police. The country has more personal weapons than people: one in three adults owns at least one weapon and nearly one in two adults lives in a household with a weapon. The consequence of this proliferation is the very high rate of firearm deaths in the United States, without comparison with that of other developed countries.