Two teenagers charged with murder after mass shooting at girl’s 16th birthday party
Two teenagers have been arrested and charged with murder after a shooting at a girl’s 16th birthday party in Alabama left four dead and 32 wounded.
The suspects, Ty Reik McCullough, 17, and Travis McCullough, 16, were charged with four counts of reckless murder, a state police spokesperson said.
The pair would be charged as adults and prosecutors would ask a judge to hold them without bail, according to District Attorney Mike Segrest.
He said four people remain in hospital in critical condition and more charges would be coming.
“We’re going to make sure all those victims have justice, not just the deceased,” he added.
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Those killed at the party last Saturday in the city of Dadeville included high school football star, Philstavious “Phil” Dowdell, an 18-year-old wide receiver with plans to play college football.
The shooting broke out at a birthday party for his sister, Alexis Dowdell, which took place in a dance studio. Mr Dowdell died in her arms.
Witnesses said several people began shooting after their mother stopped the party to ask people with guns to leave.
As well as Mr Dowdell, who had just signed with Jacksonville State University, those killed included fellow Dadeville High senior Shaunkivia Nicole “KeKe” Smith, 17; 2022 Opelika High School graduate Marsiah Emmanuel “Siah” Collins, 19; and 2018 Dadeville High graduate Corbin Dahmontrey Holston, 23.
The Alabama Law Enforcement Agency said only shell casings from handguns had been found and there was no evidence a high-powered rifle was used.
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Sergeant Jeremy J Burkett said: “We can’t get into a motive right now, because that would be part of an ongoing investigation. We can’t share that.”
“Make no mistake. This is Alabama and when you pull out a gun and you start shooting people, we’re going to put you in jail. We’re tired of going to mothers and having to tell them these kids aren’t coming home.”
Alabama had the fifth-highest rate of gun deaths in the country in 2020, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.