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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

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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.

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Unclear how many suspects are being sought

Before police announced the arrest of a fourth suspect on Thursday, there had been no indication that another suspect was being sought.

The same can be said for the news of a third arrest on Wednesday.

The two developments raise a concerning question: How many people are actually being sought as suspects?

Alabama Law Enforcement Agency officials had already faced criticism earlier this week as residents questioned whether the public should have been informed of ongoing threats to the community prior to the first two arrests.

Megan Sheets20 April 2023 19:51
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Authorities say investigation was been ‘complex and thorough’

The Alabama Law Enforcement Agency assured that its investigation has been “complex and thorough” after announcing the arrest of a fourth suspect.

Read the full update on the arrest from Andrea Blanco:

Fourth man arrested in Alabama shooting that left four people dead and 32 injured

The fourth suspect has been identified as Johnny Letron Brown, 20

Megan Sheets20 April 2023 20:15
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What was the motive for the shooting?

Four suspects have now been charged over the mass shooting at a “Sweet 16” birthday party in Alabama.

Travis McCullough, 16; his brother Tyreese “Ty Reik” McCullough, 17; Wilson LaMar Hill Jr, 20; and Johnny Letron Brown, 20, were all charged with four counts of reckless murder.

The motive for the attack remains unknown.

At a press conference on Wednesday, Sgt Jeremy Burkett of the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency declined to discuss how investigators believe the shooting unfolded.

“We can’t get into a motive right now, because that would be part of an ongoing investigation,” he said.

“We can’t share that.”

As of Thursday afternoon, the agency still has not provided any additional information.

Megan Sheets20 April 2023 21:00
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Man with same name as alleged Dadeville shooter receives threats

Travis McCullough, 16, is among the four people arrested by Alabama police in connection with the Dadeville shooting where four people lost their lives.

However, a 36-year-old man, who is also named Travis McCullough, has been receiving threatening and hateful messages on social media.

“I’ve been scared to go outside just because of the messages and comments I’ve been seeing,” Mr McCullough told Montgomery Advertiser.

Mr McCullough works as a delivery driver and lives 40 miles northeast in the valley. He initially began deleting the hate comments and DMs but later realised he might need proof of the threats if something bad were to happen.

“I’ve been cautious about that all day,” he said. “Just know, I’m not the one that did it.”

Megan Sheets20 April 2023 22:00
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Pictured: The four Alabama shooting suspects

Tyreese “Ty Reik” McCullough, 17
Tyreese “Ty Reik” McCullough, 17 (Tallapoosa County Sheriff’s Dpt)
Travis McCullough, 16
Travis McCullough, 16 (Tallapoosa County Sheriff’s Dpt )
Wilson LaMar Hill Jr, 20
Wilson LaMar Hill Jr, 20 (Tallapoosa County Sheriff’s Dpt )
Johnny Letron Brown, 20
Johnny Letron Brown, 20 (ALEA)
Megan Sheets20 April 2023 23:00
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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 Blanco21 April 2023 01:00
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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 Blanco21 April 2023 03:00
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Five suspects arrested and charged with reckless murder

Five people, including three teenagers, have been arrested on reckless murder charges for the mass shooting at a “Sweet 16” birthday party that left four people dead and 32 injured in Dadeville, Alabama.

Willie George Brown Jr, 19, was arrested Thursday and charged with four counts of reckless murder, the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency said.

Earlier in the day, Johnny Letron Brown, 20, of Tuskegee, was arrested and also charged with four counts of reckless murder.

The arrest came two days after police identified the first suspects apprehended in the case, 17-year-old Ty Reik McCullough and 16-year-old Travis McCullough.The third suspect, 20-year-old Wilson LaMar Hill Jr, was arrested on Wednesday.

Alisha Rahaman Sarkar21 April 2023 04:13
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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.

Authorities announced the arrest of 20-year-old Johnny Letron Brown on Thursday, five days after the horror attack at the Mahogany Masterpiece Dance Studio on Saturday night.

The arrest came two days after police identified the first suspects apprehended in the case, 17-year-old Ty Reik McCullough and 16-year-old Travis McCullough. The third suspect, 20-year-old Wilson LaMar Hill Jr, was arrested on Wednesday.

“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 Blanco21 April 2023 05:00
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Suspects held in Tallapoosa County Jail

The five people charged in a deadly shooting, including three teenagers, are being held in the Tallapoosa County Jail with no bond.

Authorities wrote in court documents filed Thursday that they believe the five were present at the party and “discharged firearms into the crowd” resulting in the deaths of four people.

The party, at a dance studio just off the town square, was in full swing when gunfire erupted.

Alisha Rahaman Sarkar21 April 2023 05:30

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