5th person arrested in connection with mass shooting in Dadeville

ALEA has not mentioned possible motive or connections with the killing

By: - April 20, 2023 12:09 pm
Eight people stand behind police tape on a street in Dadeville. Four are hugging, and one has her arm on another person's back.

A group of people gather outside the Mahogany’s Masterpiece Dance Studio in Dadeville, Alabama on April 16, 2023. The Alabama Law Enforcement Agency says at least four people were killed in the building on Saturday evening. (Jemma Stephenson/Alabama Reflector)

The Alabama Law Enforcement Agency said Thursday they had made two more arrests in the mass shooting in Dadeville Saturday night.

Johnny Letron Brown, 20, of Tuskegee was arrested Thursday and charged with four counts of “reckless murder,” according to ALEA.

Willie George Brown Jr., 19, of Auburn, was also arrested Thursday and charged with four counts of “reckless murder.” Brown was arrested at around 11:45 a.m.

“Reckless murder” is not a term listed in the Alabama law code; a message seeking clarity was sent to ALEA on Thursday. 

At least four people were killed and 32 injured in shooting, which took place at a Sweet 16 party held at a dance studio in Dadeville. The people killed were Marsiah Collins, 19; Philstavious “Phil” Dowdell, 18; Corbin Dahmontrey Holston, 23  and Shaunkiva “KeKe” Smith, 17.

Law enforcement arrested Tyreese “Ty Reik” McCullough, 17, and Travis McCullough, 16, both of Tuskegee, on Tuesday. Wilson LaMar Hill, Jr., 20, of Auburn, was arrested Wednesday afternoon.

All five are being held in Tallapoosa County Jail without bond, according to ALEA.

ALEA has not discussed possible motives or the suspects’ connection to the victims.

A 2022 analysis made with Center for Disease Control data found that guns have been the leading cause of death for children in the United States since 2017. Alabama has the third-highest homicide rate in the country, according to the CDC.

More people in Alabama died from guns in 2020 than in New York, which has four times Alabama’s population. Alabama is ranked fifth in firearm mortality.

Editor’s Note: This story has been updated with information about a fifth arrest from an ALEA Thursday afternoon news release.

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Jemma Stephenson
Jemma Stephenson

Jemma Stephenson covers education as a reporter for the Alabama Reflector. She previously worked at the Montgomery Advertiser and graduated from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism.