Two teens and 20-year-old arrested after Alabama birthday party shooting

Two teens embrace at a prayer vigil on Sunday, April 16, 2023, outside First Baptist Church in Dadeville, Ala. Several people were killed and over two dozen were injured in a shooting at a teen birthday party in the town on Saturday, April 15.
A vigil has been held for the four killed and 32 injured in the shooting. Credit: AP

Two teenagers and a 20-year-old man have been arrested and charged with murder in connection with a shooting that resulted in the deaths of four people at a 16th birthday party in Alabama.

The brothers, who have been named as 17-year-old Ty Reik McCullough and Travis McCullough,16, were arrested on Tuesday night, police said, along with Wilson LaMar Hill Junior, 20.

District Attorney Mike Segrest said both teenagers will be tried as adults - an automatic requirement in Alabama for anyone 16 or older who has been charged with murder.

Four young people were killed at the party, including the brother of the teenager whose 16th birthday was being celebrated.

A pastor prays for shooting victims in Dadeville, Alabama. Credit: AP

Alexis Dowdell’s 18-year-old brother, Philstavious “Phil” Dowdell, is said to have died while trying to save her from the gunfire.

The party, which took place on Saturday night, began with “everybody dancing, vibing to the music,” Alexis said.

Keenan Cooper, the DJ at the party, told WBMA-TV the event was stopped briefly when partygoers heard someone had a gun. He said people with weapons were asked to leave, but no-one did.

Not long after, the shooting began.

Shaunkivia Nicole “KeKe” Smith, 17, an athlete-turned-team manager; Marsiah Emmanuel “Siah” Collins, 19, an aspiring singer and Corbin Dahmontrey Holston, 23, another former athlete at the school were also killed in the shooting.

Following the arrests, Amy Jackson, a family member of KeKe Smith, said: “It don’t make the hurt any easier, but we are relieved that they are not out in the community."

Police said among the 32 people injured, four are still in the hospital and four remain in critical condition.

The Alabama Law Enforcement Agency said only that shell casings from handguns had been found, noting that there was no evidence a high-powered rifle was used.

'He was a good person. I was standing right beside him. I wish I could have pulled him out'

“We’re going to make sure all those victims have justice, not just the deceased,” Mr Segrest told reporters on Wednesday.

In a press conference on Sunday, Sergeant Jeremy Burkett, Alabama Law Enforcement Agency, said: "There were four lives, not fatalities - lives - tragically lost in this incident and a multitude of injuries.

"This is going to be a long, complicated process. We're going to continue to work in a very methodical way to go through this scene, look at the facts and ensure that justice is brought to the families."

According to CNN, as of March this year there had already been at least 100 mass shootings in the US.

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