Funeral held for Phil Dowdell, one of the victims in Dadeville shooting

Published: Apr. 24, 2023 at 8:40 PM CDT
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DADEVILLE, Ala. (WBRC) - The city of Dadeville mourned the loss of 18-year-old Philstavious Dowdell on Monday, a star football player at Dadeville High School who was killed in a shooting that took place at his sister’s Sweet 16 birthday party. Hundreds attended his funeral, with people sharing their memories of the young athlete.

“I would see him around town and he was always really happy and was just really a good person. I feel really bad for the families, and I’m praying for everyone involved,” said one mourner.

Dowdell was committed to play football at Jacksonville State University this fall, and Rich Rodriguez, head football coach for the Gamecocks, expressed his condolences, calling the loss tremendous.

“It’s hard on everybody here, but especially for the families. And we are so excited to have Phil. It’s just a senseless tragedy, and we want to do anything we can to support his family, the rest of the victims’ family as well,” Rodriguez said.

The shooting left three others dead and dozens injured. Police have charged six individuals in connection with the shooting, and neighbors feel more at ease knowing that those responsible are in custody.

Mayor Jimmy Frank Goodman Sr, who attended Dowdell’s funeral, said that the road to recovery for the city would be long.

“It’s like something out of science fiction, you know, what happened, but then your mind cannot get adjusted to it that it has happened,” Goodman said about attending funerals of those victims lost.

“This may take years for them to really get out, and for those who lost a little one, it will never be the same because there’s gonna be an empty spot there,” Goodman said.

He encouraged anyone affected by the tragedy to reach out for help, and he hopes that the community can continue to pray for peace in the days and months that follow.

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