As it happenedended1682116666

Alabama shooting – update: Six suspects including boy, 15, arrested over Dadeville Sweet 16 party attack

It is unclear how many suspects are being sought in the April 15 ‘Sweet 16’ shooting

Andrea Blanco,Joe Sommerlad,Alisha Rahaman Sarkar
Friday 21 April 2023 23:37 BST
Dadeville shooting survivor speaks from hospital bed

Six suspects have now been arrested over the mass shooting at a “Sweet 16” birthday party that left four people dead and 32 injured in Dadeville, Alabama.

On Thursday, authorities announced that three more suspects were taken into custody including a 15-year-old who has not been named due to his age, Johnny Letron Brown, 20, and Willie George Brown Jr., 19.

The arrests bring the total number of people arrested over the shooting to six after the earlier arrests of Wilson LaMar Hill Jr, 20, and brothers Ty Reik McCullough, 17, and Travis McCullough, 16.

All six have been charged with four counts of reckless murder.

The latest arrests come five days after the horror attack at the Mahogany Masterpiece Dance Studio on Saturday night.

High school football star Philstavious “Phil” Dowdell, 18, was one of the four killed in the incident and it has emerged that he died saving the life of his sister Alexis, whose birthday celebration it was.

Shaunkivia Nicole “KeKe” Smith, 17, Marsiah Collins, 19, and Corbin Holston, 23, were also killed.

No motive has been outlined by the police.

1681921308

Family members welcome the arrests

The fatal victims were identified on Monday as Keke Nicole Smith, 17, Phil Dowdell, 18, Marsiah Collins, 19 and Corbin Holston, 23. Four victims remain hospitalised in critical condition as of Wednesday night, District Attorney Mark Sergist said.

“It don’t make the hurt any easier. But we are relieved that they (the suspects) are not out in the community,” Smith’s cousin Amy Jackson told the AP.

The gunfire broke out at a birthday party for Dowdell’s sister Alexis Dowdell, which was being held at a dance studio just off the town’s courthouse square. Witnesses had said multiple people began shooting some time after Dowdell’s mother paused the celebration to ask people with guns to leave.

Andrea Blanco19 April 2023 17:21
1681922645

Who are the suspects arrested on Tuesday?

Three days after gunfire at a Sweet 16 birthday party killed four young people and injured 32 more, some critically, authorities in Dadeville announced the arrests of Ty Reik McCullough, 17, and Travis McCullough, 16.

The teens were taken into custody on Tuesday night and have been charged with four counts of reckless murder each. Sgt Jeremy Burkett of the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency said during a press conference on Wednesday that a motive for the shooting has been determined, but details will not be shared with the public at this time.

“Please understand, with the violence that went on and the magnitude of what happened, we are absolutely still in the early stages of the investigation,” Sgt Jeremy Burkett of the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency said during a press conference on Wednesday. “This is the beginning, this is not the end. There is a tremendous amount of work that is yet to be done.”

Andrea Blanco19 April 2023 17:44
1681923613

Teens charged as adults, DA says

The shootings Saturday night rocked the small town of Dadeville, about 80 miles southeast of Birmingham, and families suddenly found themselves planning memorials and burial services instead of graduation parties or college move-ins.

The fatal victims were identified on Monday as Keke Nicole Smith, 17, Phil Dowdell, 18, Marsiah Collins, 19 and Corbin Holston, 23. Four victims remain hospitalised in critical condition as of Wednesday night.

“We are going to make sure every victim gets justice, not just the deceased,” District Attorney Mark Sergist said during a press conference on Wednesday. “Even though these are 16 and 17-year-olds, we are going to charge them as adults.”

Andrea Blanco19 April 2023 18:00
1681924513

What comes next for two suspects in Dadeville shooting?

Tallapoosa District Attorney Mark Sergist said more charges are expected to come. The suspects will have a bond hearing within the next 72 hours, and the prosecutors are expected to ask a judge to hold them without bail.

Mr Sergist became emotional as he announced the developments, saying some of the victims were children of his longtime friends. He said that grand jurors typically meet in Tallapoosa County in March and September, but he said he would recall grand jurors to seek an indictment before September

“There’s an uncut cake and unburnt birthday candles that never got lit,” he said. “I know some of these victims personally ... These are my kids, these are our kids, you don’t mess with our kids.”

Andrea Blanco19 April 2023 18:15
1681925413

Alabama birthday party shooting victim speaks out from hospital bed: ‘Nobody would help me’

Police in smalltown Dadeville, Alabama, are continuing their investigation into the mass shooting at a teenager’s birthday party that left four people dead and a further 32 injured.

The violence broke out at approximately 10.34pm on Saturday at the Mahogany Masterpiece Dance Studio in the downtown area of Dadeville where Alexis Dowdell was celebrating her 16th birthday with friends and family.

The Independent’s Joe Sommerlad has more:

Alabama shooting victim speaks out from hospital bed: ‘Nobody would help me’

‘Nobody would help me so I had to gain my strength and walk outside after being shot’

Andrea Blanco19 April 2023 18:30
1681926313

Dadeville shooting victim attends vigil in hospital gown

Taniya Cox, an 18-year-old who was shot twice in her right arm as she fled the party, joined hundreds of residents, community leaders and local politicians at a vigil on Sunday night straight from her hospital bed, The Montgomery Advertiser reported.

In an interview with CBS News, Ms Cox also recounted the moments leading up to the violence and recalled seeing more than one gunman.

“The mother said whoever had guns had to get out and they didn’t get out and five minutes later the shooting started,” she said.

“I ran in front of a bullet and got shot. I didn’t know what was going on I just saw blood coming out of my arm.”

Read more:

Dadeville shooting victim attends vigil in hospital gown

“I saw a group of girls dancing and that’s when the gunshots went off,” survivor Taniya Cox said

Andrea Blanco19 April 2023 18:45
1681927223

‘You don’t mess with out kids'

Tallapoosa District Attorney Mark Sergist said more charges are expected to come. The suspects will have a bond hearing within the next 72 hours, and the prosecutors are expected to ask a judge to hold them without bail.

Mr Sergist became emotional as he announced the developments, saying some of the victims were children of his longtime friends. He said that grand jurors typically meet in Tallapoosa County in March and September, but he said he would recall grand jurors to seek an indictment before September

“There’s an uncut cake and unburnt birthday candles that never got lit,” he said. “I know some of these victims personally ... These are my kids, these are our kids, you don’t mess with our kids.”

Andrea Blanco19 April 2023 19:00
1681928237

Community members start fundraisers for those affected by shooting

Several community members, businesses and nonprofits have reportedly begun to raise funds to help those affected by Saturday’s mass shooting.

Longleaf Antique Mall announced on its Facebook page it is collecting monetary donations for the victims and families, which will be passed on to the First Baptist Church of Dadeville.

A flower shop has been selling door and mailbox bows for $15, which will go towards a scholarship fund in memory of Phil Dowdell and Shaunkivia “Keke” Smith.

A GoFundMe campaign for Dowdell has been set up by his mother, LaTonya Allen, as the family navigates through funeral expenses. Another fundraiser was set up for Smith’s family.

Andrea Blanco19 April 2023 19:17
1681929777

Teens arrested in connection to Dadeville shooting are brothers

Three days after gunfire at a Sweet 16 birthday party killed four young people and injured 32 more, some critically, authorities in Dadeville announced the arrests of Ty Reik McCullough, 17, and Travis McCullough, 16.

According to local outlet AL.com, the suspects are brothers.

The teens were taken into custody on Tuesday night and have been charged with four counts of reckless murder each. Sgt Jeremy Burkett of the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency said during a press conference on Wednesday that a motive for the shooting has been determined, but details will not be shared with the public at this time.

Andrea Blanco19 April 2023 19:42
1681932236

Victim’s mother asked attendees with guns to leave party before shooting unfolded

Taniya Cox, an 18-year-old who was shot twice in her right arm as she fled the party, joined hundreds of residents, told CBS News that Phil and Alexis Dowdell’s mother had ordered anyone with a gun to leave the party just moments before the shooting unfolded.

“The mother said whoever had guns had to get out and they didn’t get out and five minutes later the shooting started,” Ms Cox said.

“I ran in front of a bullet and got shot. I didn’t know what was going on I just saw blood coming out of my arm.”

Authorities said earlier this week that they did not recover any high-powered rifle ammunition at the scene. They did find numerous shell casings used in handguns.

Andrea Blanco19 April 2023 20:23

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in