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Dadeville tragedy hits home

By Michael Butler

The town of Dadeville is just 20 miles from Tallassee and became a destination for several locals on Saturday night. A "Sweet 16" birthday party turned into a crime scene with rampant gunfire leaving four dead and at 28 more injured.

Mike Segrest, who graduated from Tallassee High School, is the district attorney for the fifth judicial circuit which includes Tallapoosa County.

"The fifth judicial circuit handles everything from traffic tickets to capital murder cases," said Segrest. "I was notified by law enforcement shortly before midnight on Saturday of the situation."

Segrest said almost every law enforcement agency has offered aid including the FBI.

"I'm the first Tallassee guy to ever serve in this office," added Segrest, who now resides in Macon County. "This isn't just a Dadeville thing. It's a Tallassee thing. It's a Reeltown thing. There were kids from both high schools that were there - kids that had gone to the Reeltown prom. These are my kids. It's kids of the parents that I went to school with (and) played ball with."

One of the kids who has received medical assistance is Bre Hutchinson, a Tallassee cheerleader who spoke with Birmingham TV station ABC 33/40.

"I got shot and felt the blood gushing from my leg," she said. "I grabbed on to somebody. I don't know who. I was yelling for help. I was still inside the building. Nobody would help me, so I had to gain my strength to walk outside."

Segrest has been reaching out to those who were on the scene.

"There are so many witnesses," he said. "It was so chaotic. So many of these kids are scared and understandably so, but we need to talk to them. I've already called the school counselor for Tallassee."

Tallassee friends visiting with Bre

Tallassee High School put out this release on Monday.

"THS parents, as you may know, our school community has been affected by the tragic events in Dadeville. Mrs. Bafford, counselors, and clergy will be available on campus all week for any student/staff."

"I was on the phone last night," Segrest noted, "with kids from Tallassee that I know personally who were there and had very relevant information."

Segrest encouraged anyone with information to reach out to him. Contact information is available through his office's website. A link for victim services is also available.

"We got calls from Homeland Security. Folks from the White House reached out. Whenever a story like this hits the national media, everybody reaches out. We're grateful for all the resources that they bring.

"Jill and I are praying for their families," President Joe Biden stated, "and for the many others injured and fighting for their lives in the wake of this weekend's gun violence."

Tallassee's Michael Weldon will be assisting Segrest as they continue to compile information.

"Michael is my chief deputy," Segrest said. "There are so many lives that have been changed forever. After I got the call, the first thing I did was cry. This morning I'm mad as hell and ready to go to work."