BREAKING NEWS: Three arrested on four counts reckless murder

Published 5:44 pm Wednesday, April 19, 2023

Law enforcement officials announced Wednesday three suspects have been arrested and charged with four counts of reckless murder in connection with the mass shooting during a teen’s “sweet sixteen” party in Dadeville Saturday.

Two of the suspects, brothers Tyreese “Ty Reik” McCullough, 17, and Travis McCullough, 16, both of Tuskegee were arrested on April 18 at approximately 8 p.m.

Special Agents with the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency’s (ALEA) State Bureau of Investigations (SBI) made a third arrest Wednesday, formally charging Wilson LaMar Hill Jr., 20, of Auburn with four counts of reckless murder.

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“All three individuals were charged after a complex and thorough investigation was conducted with assistance from a multitude of law enforcement agencies, following the shooting that occurred on April 15,” said ALEA Sergeant Jeremy Burkett. “The shooting resulted in four fatalities and 32 individuals injured.

The shooting happened around 10:45 p.m. Saturday at the Mahogany Masterpiece dance study in Dadeville during the birthday party for Alex “Lexi” Dowdell. The young woman’s brother Philstavious Dowdell, 18, died from gunshot wounds he received during the shooting.

Tallapoosa County Coroner Mike Knox released the names of the four victims killed in the shooting, identifying them as Dowdell, 23-year-old Corbin Dahmontrey Holston of Dadeville, 19-year-old Marsiah Emmanuel Collins of Opelika, and 17-year-old Dadeville resident Shaunkivia Nicole Smith.

Alabama law defines reckless murder as a murder under circumstances manifesting extreme indifference to human life, [when] he/she recklessly engages in conduct which creates a grave risk of death to a person other than himself/herself, and thereby causes the death of another person.

In a Wednesday morning press conference, Burkett urged the community to continue bringing information to officials. He assured the community that combined agencies would keep working to bring justice for the victims and their families.

“Make no mistake,” Burkett said. “This is Alabama and when you pull out a gun and you start shooting people, we’re gonna put you in jail.”

“Somebody’s got to start thinking about the mothers,” he continued. “We’re tired of going to the mothers and having to tell them these kids are not coming home.”

Mike Segrest, District Attorney for the 5th Judicial Circuit acknowledged the community’s frustration over the lack of information available and urged patients while the investigation continues.

“As a prosecutor, I cannot discuss the facts of the case,” Segrest said. “This is a very complex case. We’ve got a lot more victims… four that are in critical condition. There’ll be pending charges coming. We’re going to make sure every one of those victims has justice.”

Segrest, who knew some victims personally, described the trauma those present during the shooting had endured.

“There’s an uncut cake and unburnt 16 candles that never got lit,” Segrest said. “Lexi’s brother was one of the victims. [At] her 16th birthday party, she knelt by her brother as he took his last breath. That’s what we’re dealing with here.

Segrest asked victims and witnesses to connect with his office to share information or gain resources for dealing with the tragedy. Visit www.5thcircuitda.org for more information.