Heartbreaking Moment Alabama Birthday Girl Asked Dying Brother to ‘Stay With Me’

by Sophia Chen
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On Saturday night, Alexis Dowdell was celebrating her Sweet 16 birthday at a dance studio in Dadeville, Alabama. Sadly, her brother Philstavious “Phil” Dowdell got killed and three other people died with him while 32 people were injured – some of them critically. When it happened, Alexis was close to her brother and saw the whole scene – blood everywhere, wounded teens scattered around. Monday morning she told this story to Big Big News in the presence of her family.

I remember the moment clearly – I was on my knees and saw my brother lying in front of me. His face wasn’t showing any signs of life. Without losing a second, I grabbed him and turned him over so that he was facing upwards. Even though I wanted to cry, I knew it would make the situation worse, so I tried to be strong and keep calm instead. I kept repeating words of encouragement like ‘you’re going to be alright’ and ‘you’re strong enough to fight this’ while attempting to revive my brother.

On Monday, the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency (ALE) was still finding out what had happened. Shells from handguns were found, and there was no proof that a bigger gun was used. ALE is asking people for help by sending in videos or other information about the case.

This weekend, there were three shootings in the USA. In Louisville, Kentucky, two people died and four were hurt; in Los Angeles, California, four men were shot—one of them didn’t make it; Lastly, Lincoln University in Pennsylvania had two female students who got injured.

At first, Saturday evening in Dadeville was great. Everyone was dancing and enjoying the music. Then a person reported that someone had a gun. The DJ asked anyone who had a weapon to leave, but no one did. Suddenly, shots were fired!

Dowdell said that when she heard the gunshots, she fell to the ground close to the DJ as all the other people started running. She was confused about which direction to run in because it seemed like shots were being fired from every direction.

When there was a pause in shooting, Dowdell made a run for the front door. However, her brother tried to shield her by pushing her out of harm’s way. This caused her to slip over the blood on the floor since there was a lot of it spilled everywhere.

Once she went outside, Dowdell quickly looked for her mother, stepfather and other family members. She asked them “Where are my brothers and sisters? And where are my cousins and friends?”

The whole family then began walking back to Mahogany Masterpiece Dance Studio. Once they got there, Dowdell’s mother peered inside. According to Dowdell’s mother, she came out screaming in shock saying “My baby is gone!”

Phil Dowdell, a famous football player, was losing consciousness. His sister begged him to stay with her, and she checked on other hurt friends – one of them had been shot in the head! Sadly, when paramedics finally came, Phil didn’t have a heartbeat anymore.

“When the help was here, I asked them to check on my brother,” Alexis Dowdell said. “They checked his pulse and would not tell me what had happened, so I just got a feeling he wasn’t alive anymore.”

The people who died in the accident were Phil Dowdell, KeKe Smith (17 year old Dadeville High School student and team manager/athlete), Marsiah Collins (19 year old Opelika High School student who wanted to be a singer and was expecting to begin college this fall), and Corbin Holston (23 year old former student of Dadeville High school, also an athlete).

After the shootings, friends and family remembered all sorts of details about the victims. Smith was so excited to finish high school that she spoke about it with enthusiasm when asked about it by a former neighbor. She also shared selfies wearing her cap and gown with the caption “almost out”. Amy Jackson, more like an aunt than cousin to Smith says that she had a “million-dollar” smile.

Jackson said that when she walked in, it was like the room lit up, describing her as a talented athlete who was into running track and different team sports until an injury happened. Her last action before going to the party on Saturday was getting her little sister ready for bed. Jackson added that this was her caring nature.

When Phil Dowdell first became famous people paid a lot of attention to him because he was an amazing football player in a state where the most popular sport is high school football. His uncle, Antreal Allen who works at Georgia State University, said that Phil was very excited to go off and play football at Jacksonville State University which is near Birmingham.

Phil’s uncle said Phil was next in the family to be college educated, and wanted him to lead by example for the younger generation. Allen agreed, saying it was about more than just football. In 2018, Corbin Dahmontrey Holston graduated high school and Amy reported from Atlanta.

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