DADEVILLE, Ala. – A fourth suspect was arrested and charged with murder Thursday in connection with a shooting at a Sweet 16 birthday party in Alabama that killed four teenagers, authorities announced.
Johnny Ledron Brown, 20, of Tuskegee, was charged with reckless homicide, according to the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency. A total of four defendants now face reckless homicide charges in connection with the shooting.
The shooting at Sweet 16’s birthday killed four young men between the ages of 17 and 23 and shocked the small east Alabama town of Dadeville. Apart from the four killed, 32 others were injured, 4 of them critically. A party at a dance studio just off the town square was in full swing when gunfire erupted.
Tyrese “Ty Rake” McCullough, 17, of Tuskegee, and Travis McCullough, 16, of Tuskegee, were arrested Tuesday. Wilson Lamar Hill Jr., 20, of Auburn, was arrested Wednesday. Alabama law requires teenagers to be tried as adults if they are charged with murder when they are 16 or older, the district attorney said.
The birthday girl’s brother, 18-year-old Philstavious “Phil” Dowdell of Camp Hill, died as his sister knelt beside him begging her to breathe. He and another fatal victim, 17-year-old Shankivia Nicole “KK” Smith of Dadeville, were high school seniors. Also killed were Marcia Emmanuel “Sia” Collins, 19, of Opelika, and Corbin Damontre Holston, 23, of Dadeville.
This is the 16th homicide in the United States this year. It took place in Maine on Tuesday the 17th. A total of 88 people have died in murders so far in 2023.
According to a database maintained by The Associated Press and USA Today in association with Northeastern University, a mass homicide is defined as the killing of four or more people other than the perpetrator.