Authorities announced in Alabama on Wednesday that they had arrested two teenagers and charged them with the Dadeville Mass Shooting which occurred 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.
A few days after the announcement, the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency announced that Ty Reik McCullough (17) and Travis McCullough (16) were charged with four counts of reckless murder.
Special agents of the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency, and State Bureau of Investigation arrested the teenagers from Tuskegee.
The ALEA issued a press release stating that “These individuals have been charged after a thorough investigation, which was conducted with the help of a number of law enforcement agencies.”
The Dadeville Police Department and Tuskegee Police Department played an important role in the investigation. They also assisted with the location and arrest of suspects.
The statement went on to say, “While the investigation is ongoing, there are no further details available at this time.”
In a press conference held on Wednesday, Mike Segrest, the District Attorney of Montgomery County announced that both men would be charged as adults under Alabama law.
Segrest said, “We will make sure that justice is served to all victims and not only those who have died.”
On Saturday, gunfire broke out during Alexis Dowdell’s 16th birthday party. The party was held at a dance studio located near the courthouse.
The birthday girl’s brother, Philstavious “Phil” Dowdell, reportedly died in his sister’s arms.
“It was Lexi’s 16th birthday party. A Sweet 16. There’s an uncut cake and unburnt 16 candles that never got lit. Lexi’s brother is one of the victims,” Segrest said Wednesday. “At her 16th birthday party, she kneeled by her brother as he took his last breath. That’s what we’re dealing with. The message that I want to send is I know some of these victims personally. Some of these kids are kids of friends of mine, people that I went to school with, and people that I played ball with and against in the community back in high school. And these are my kids.”
These children are ours. Don’t mess with them. The district attorney warned, “Don’t mess with their children.”
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 was at the party to watch over a younger relative, Janett Heard, told AL.com. Relatives claim that the shooting began shortly after Holston arrived and that Holston rescued his younger cousin.
ALEA Sgt. Jeremy J. Burkett has refused to reveal where the suspects are being held, or if they were already in custody when they were charged. Burkett stated, “They couldn’t discuss motives because that would interfere with a current investigation.”
Segrest said that Tallapoosa County Grand Jurors typically meet in March and September. Segrest will recall grand jury members to get an indictment before September.