Two teenagers have been arrested and charged with killing over Sweet 16 birthday party shooting in a small Alabama town that killed four and 32 injured people, Alabama police said.
The weekend brutality in the tight-knit neighbourhood of Dadeville in the US South was only one of the numerous mass shootings in recent days to haunt a nation that is rife with guns and records tens of thousands of shooting deaths every year. The Alabama Law Enforcement Agency iden-tified the suspects as Ty Reik McCullough, 17 and Travis McCullough, 16. The teenagers were captured after three days of probing and manhunts. The police said they were each charged with four counts of “reckless murder.”
Sgt Jeremy J Burkett of the Alabama law en-forcement agency announced the latest arrest but declined earlier to discuss specifics of how the shooting unfolded or a possible motive.
“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 had said earlier that prosecutors would ask a judge to hold the teens without bail. A bond hearing must be held by Friday under Alabama law. Online court records do not show any previous adult charges in state court for either of the arrested teens. Authorities had no immediate information about Hill’s arrest or when he might face an initial court appearance.
Segrest said four people remained in hospital in critical condition and more charges would be coming, adding: “We’re going to make sure all those victims have justice, not just the deceased.”
The violence shocked Dadeville, a town of 3,200. In addition to the four young people who were killed, 32 were wounded, some critically, when shooting broke out at a birthday party for Alexis Dowdell, at a dance studio just off the courthouse square. Wit-nesses said multiple people began shooting some time after Dowdell’s mother asked people with guns to leave.
The birthday girl’s brother, Philstavious “Phil” Dowdell, died in his sister’s arms.
“[You’re] strong. Don’t give up on me,” Alexis told her brother shortly before he died, CNN re-ported.
Dowdell had earned a scholarship to play football at Jacksonville State University, Keenan Cooper, a DJ a the party, told CNN.
The other people killed were Shaunkivia Nicole “KeKe” Smith, 17, an athlete turned team manager and another Dadeville high school senior; a 2022 Opelika high school graduate, Marsiah Emmanuel “Siah” Collins, 19, an aspiring singer who planned to start college this fall; and a 2018 Dadeville high school graduate, Corbin Dahmontrey Holston, 23, and another former athlete.
Holston had gone to the party to check on a younger family member who feared trouble, his mother, Janett Heard, told AL.com. Relatives told the news outlet the shooting began shortly after Holston arrived, and that he pulled his younger relative to safety.—AFP