Father Of Dadeville Victim Says His Biggest Fear Now A Reality, ‘It’s An Unbearable Emptiness’

At Least Four People Reportedly Killed At Birthday Party Shooting In Dadeville, Alabama

Source: Megan Varner / Getty

Over the weekend, the community of Dadeville, Alabama suffered a tragic mass shooting. The father, Michael Collins, of one of the victims joins the Rickey Smiley Morning Show to share his thoughts on what he describes as his biggest fear turned reality. 

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Saturday night, shots fired at a Sweet 16 birthday party at Mahogany Masterpiece Dance Studio. Four, unfortunately, did not make it out alive, and 28 were left critically injured.


During two news conferences Sunday, Sgt. Jeremy Burkett of the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency did not take questions. He did not say if a suspect was in custody or if investigators knew about any motivation. He did not provide the names of those killed.

“We’ve got to have information from the community,” Burkett said during a Sunday evening news conference.

Philstavious “Phil” Dowdell, a Dadeville High School senior who had committed to Jacksonville State University, was celebrating at his sister Alexis’ party before he was shot to death, his grandmother Annette Allen told the Montgomery Advertiser.

“He was a very, very humble child. Never messed with anybody. Always had a smile on his face,” Allen told the newspaper, calling it “a million-dollar smile.”

Dowdell’s mother was among those hurt in the shooting.


Collins not only speaks on his devastating experience but also a bit about his beliefs on gun reform.

“It’s an unbearable emptiness and pain to go to sleep and wake up to know that it’s still a reality…Put pressure on these legislators and congressmen to act, to do something, to fix this so we can stop this from happening,” Michael states.

Rickey Smiley holds back tears as he empathizes with “another father who had to wake up on a Sunday morning to the news that their son is gone”.

Ben Crump joins afterward to give insight on another sad occurrence —the Kansas City shooting a sixteen-year-old boy, Ralph Yarl. Yarl was shot twice in the head at a doorstep after mistakenly arriving at the wrong address. The star student was picking up his younger siblings. He survived, miraculously, but the shooter currently faces no charges. 



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Father Of Dadeville Victim Says His Biggest Fear Now A Reality, ‘It’s An Unbearable Emptiness’  was originally published on