Alabama authorities announced Wednesday that two teenagers have been arrested and charged in the Dadeville mass shooting at a Sweet 16 birthday party last weekend.
Four people were killed, and another 32 people were injured when gunfire erupted at approximately 10:34 p.m. Saturday at the Mahogany Masterpiece dance studio, located in the 200 Block of Broadnax Street in Dadeville, a sleepy town of just 3,200 people in Tallapoosa County, about 62 miles northeast of the state capital of Montgomery.
Days later, the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency announced Ty Reik McCullough, 17, and Travis McCullough, 16, were both formally charged with four counts of reckless murder.
The teens from Tuskegee were arrested by Special Agents with the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency’s (ALEA) State Bureau of Investigation (SBI).
“These individuals have been charged after a complex and thorough investigation was conducted with assistance from a multitude of law enforcement agencies,” the ALEA said in a statement.
“The Dadeville Police Department, the Tuskegee Police Department, Tallapoosa County Sheriff’s Office, Macon County Sheriff’s Office, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the United States Marshals Service and the 5th Circuit District Attorney’s Office were all instrumental in assisting and supporting the investigation, along with locating and apprehending the suspects.”
“Nothing further is available as the investigation is ongoing,” the statement added.
At a press conference Wednesday, District Attorney Mike Segrest said the pair would be charged as adults and that prosecutors would ask a judge to hold them without bail. A bond hearing must be held by Friday under Alabama law. He said four people remain in the hospital in critical condition and that more charges would be coming.
“We’re going to make sure all those victims have justice, not just the deceased,” Segrest said.
The gunfire broke out Saturday at a 16th birthday party for Alexis Dowdell, which was being held at the dance studio just off the town’s courthouse square. Witnesses have said multiple people began shooting some time after Dowdell’s mother paused the celebration to ask people with guns to leave.
The birthday girl’s brother, Philstavious “Phil” Dowdell, reportedly died in his sister’s arms.
Besides Phil Dowdell, a star wide receiver with plans to play college football at Jacksonville State this fall, those killed were fellow Dadeville High senior Shaunkivia Nicole “KeKe” Smith, 17, an athlete-turned-team manager; 2022 Opelika High School graduate Marsiah Emmanuel “Siah” Collins, 19, an aspiring singer who planned to start college this fall; and 2018 Dadeville High graduate Corbin Dahmontrey Holston, 23, another former athlete at the school.
Holston had gone to the party to check on a younger family member who feared trouble, Holston’s mother Janett Heard told AL.com. Relatives told the news outlet that the shooting began shortly after Holston arrived, and that he pulled his younger relative to safety.
ALEA Sgt. Jeremy J. Burkett wouldn’t say where the two suspects are being jailed, or whether they already were in custody when they were charged in the case. “We can’t get into a motive right now, because that would be part of an ongoing investigation,” Burkett said. “We can’t share that.”
Segrest 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. “If we can establish the facts, we will be asking our grand jury to come back in.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report. This is a breaking news story. Check back for updates.