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Hero teen died saving sister's life in horror mass shooting: 'My heart is ripped out'

NewsHero teen died saving sister's life in horror mass shooting: 'My heart is ripped out'

A heroic 18-year-old died while saving his sister during the latest mass shooting to shock America. School sports star Phil Dowdell was with his sister Alexis Dowdell as she celebrated her birthday at a dance studio in the small US town of Dadeville, Alabama. But the night of celebration soon turned to a scene of unspeakable horror when a shooter took fire at partygoers, killing four and injuring 28 others.

Quick-thinking Phil instinctively pushed his sister Alexis to the ground saving her life from the onslaught of bullets. The siblings were later separated as people ran for their lives.

Alexis described how Phil was dying on the floor when she found him after the attack. He opened his eyes and raised his eyebrows as she held him in her arms.

Speaking to the BBC, Alexis and her mother LaTonya Allen said they do not know what caused or provoked the shooting.

Ms Allen also paid tribute to her son, saying she was proud “in every way”.

She continued: “A piece of my heart is ripped out. He was supposed to graduate next month. Instead of me going to graduation I’ll be going to the cemetery to see my son.”

The gunmen are reportedly still on the run with police yet to name suspects.

Jimmy Frank Goodman Sr, the mayor of Dadeville, told the BBC about the chaos that later ensued at a nearby hospital in the aftermath.

He said: “There were people crying, bodies going into the emergency room and bloody clothes on the ground.”

The horrific events in Alabama are yet another example of devastating gun violence in the US.

There have been at least 160 mass shootings across the US so far this year.

Figures shared by the Gun Violence Archive show how the number of mass shootings has risen significantly in recent years.

In each of the last three years, the number of shootings has surpassed 600 – almost averaging two a day.

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