Brown arrested as fifth reckless murder suspect
Published 4:30 pm Thursday, April 20, 2023
At approximately 11;45 a.m. Special Agents with the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency’s (ALEA) State Bureau of Investigations (SBI) arrested a fifth suspect, Willie George Brown, Jr., 19, of Auburn in connection with the Saturday mass shooting in Dadeville.
“A total of five arrests have now been made 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 took place during Alex Dowdell’s “sweet sixteen” party. Four persons were killed, and 32 others injured. Four of the injured remain in critical condition.
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Johnny Letron Brown, 20, of Tuskegee, brothers Tyreese “Ty Reik” McCullough, 17, and Travis McCullough, 16, both of Tuskegee, and Wilson LaMar Hill Jr., 20, of Auburn have been arrested and formally charged with four counts of reckless murder.
The shooting happened around 10:45 p.m. Saturday at the Mahogany Masterpiece dance study in Dadeville. Dowdell’s brother Philstavious Dowdell, 18, died from gunshot wounds he received during the shooting.
Authorities have identified the other victims killed that night as 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.
According to Burkett, all individuals arrested in connection to this death investigation were booked into the Tallapoosa County Jail with no bond.
“The Dadeville Police Department, 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,” Burkett said.
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.
Burkett said videos and photos related to the incident may still be submitted online via the FBI’s website at: https://tips.fbi.gov/digitalmedia/29fa2c127a79963.