DADEVILLE, Ala. (WIAT) — As the country awaits a suspect to be taken into custody after the mass shooting in Maine Wednesday night, the city of Dadeville is uniquely reminded of a similar horrific shooting it experienced earlier this year at a birthday party.
It’s been just over 6 months since shots were fired in downtown Dadeville at a sweet sixteen birthday party. Cara Johns was one of the people shot that night who survived, taking a moment to reflect on the last six months.
“Physically, I’m doing okay, like I’ve already passed my therapies,” Cara said. “Mentally, I think I’m still very, very shocked.”
Cara said since the shooting at her friend’s birthday in April, she’s gone through every emotion.
“Confusion, angriness, but mainly sadness and, like, disassociation. Like, I don’t feel like myself,” she said. “Don’t always think that there’s not evil wherever you go. I remember at the party I was like ‘We’re not going to get shot up at a party’ and then 30 minutes later we’re all being shot up.”
Hearing about the shootings in Maine leaves Cara and her dad, Justin Johns, with one main question: Why?
“Still going on things like this, I mean, it just makes no sense at all. I don’t know what’s driving this, why things like this keep happening,” Justin said. “I can’t see any sense in this, I think it’s all pointless.”
Dadeville Police Chief Jonathan Floyd says the Dadeville community is doing better than most people would expect because as a small community, they’ve banded together and supported one another over the last six months.
“When you’re in a tragic situation, you really don’t realize how strong your support system is until you’re in there,” Floyd said.
Floyd said having gone through a tragedy of this nature, he wants the Lewiston, ME police department to know there is help out there and to use all the resources they can.
“As tough as it is, especially admittedly after, after things settle down and things start to really settle and soak in and sink in, it is such a huge comfort that you cannot go through something like we went through here and like the people in Lewiston are going through [Thursday], unfortunately, you can’t go through it alone,” Floyd said. “The police chief of Lewiston has a huge burden to bear. He has a huge burden on his shoulders but he is not in it alone and I promise you there are people that are praying for him, there are people that are praying for that department, people that are praying for that city, and they’re doing it out of genuine love because they really do care.”
Both Johns and Floyd want everyone to know Dadeville is still strong and this one event did not define their city or the people in it.