Dadeville, AL – Alabama police have arrested three suspects in connection with a deadly mass shooting that occurred at a girl’s 16th birthday party over the weekend.
Two high school seniors and two adults were murdered, and at least 32 more victims were injured, during the April 15 attack, according to CBS News.
At least 15 of the surviving victims are teenagers, CNN reported.
Four remained in critical condition on Wednesday, according to NBC News.
Alabama Law Enforcement Agency (ALEA) Sergeant Jeremy Burkett announced the arrests of three alleged gunmen on Wednesday, Reuters reported.
Brothers Travis McCullough, 16, and Ty Reik McCullough, 17, were apprehended on Tuesday night, Sgt. Burkett confirmed.
Wilson LaMar Hill, 20, was arrested on Wednesday afternoon, Reuters reported.
All three suspects have been charged with four counts of reckless murder.
Fifth Judicial Circuit District Attorney Mike Segrest said they are all being charged as adults, CBS News reported.
“Make no mistake. This is Alabama and when you pull out a gun and you start shooting people, we’re going to put you in jail,” Sgt. Burkett said during the press conference, according to Reuters. “We’re tired of going to mothers and having to tell them these kids aren’t coming home.”
Segrest said additional charges are expected, CBS News reported.
“We’re going to make sure every one of those victims has justice and not just the deceased,” he said.
The motive for the attack is unclear and investigators have not released any information about possible connections between the victims and the suspects, CBS News reported.
The mass shooting occurred at approximately 10:30 p.m. on April 15 during a 16th birthday party at the Mahogany Masterpiece dance studio located in the 200-block of Broadnax Street, WBLA reported.
Keenan Cooper said he was working as a DJ at the gathering, which he estimated was attended by 40 or 50 people, according to WBLA.
Cooper said someone mentioned at one point that “someone had a gun,” so the party was halted and a request was made for anyone with a firearm to leave the premises.
“Nobody left and the party continued,” he told WBLA.
About an hour later, someone opened fire inside the venue and gunned down dozens of partygoers.
Cooper said several kids hid underneath his table.
“I had a lot of people under the table and beside me trying to protect them,” he told WBLA. “After everybody ran out, I made sure they were ok and that’s when I came out and the police arrived.”
The DJ said it was dark inside the building, so no one saw the attack coming.
Four victims were murdered in the mass shooting.
The Tallapoosa County Coroner has identified them as 17-year-old Shaunkivia Nicole Smith, 18-year-old Philstavious Dowdell, 19-year-old Marsiah Emmanuel Collins, and 23-year-old Corbin Dahmontry Holston, WBLA reported.
Dowdell was the brother of the girl whose 16th birthday was being celebrated, according to CNN.
He and Smith were both seniors at Dadeville High School and were anxiously awaiting their upcoming graduation, CNN reported.
Smith was planning to attend the University of Alabama.
Dowdell, a star football player, had earned a scholarship to play for Jacksonville State University, CNN reported.
His sister, Alexis Dowdell, said her brother saved her life by pushing her to the ground when the gunfire erupted, CBS News reported.
Their mother, Latonya Allen, said she saw Alexis trying to help him after he was mortally wounded.
“Alexis, she got down on her knees and was holding him,” Allen told CBS News. “He was just bloody. She was saying, kept telling him, ‘Wake up, Phil.'”
Allen was among those wounded in the attack, CBS News reported.
In addition to the five teens who remained in critical condition on Monday, four more were listed in stable condition.
Six other wounded teenagers had been released from the hospital and are continuing to recover at home, Lake Martin Community Hospital Spokesperson Heidi Smith told CNN.
“It was chaotic,” Dadeville Mayor Frank Goodman said of the scene at Lake Martin Community Hospital, according to the Associated Press. “There were people running around. They were crying and screaming. There were police cars everywhere, there were ambulances everywhere. People were trying to find out about their loved ones. That was a scene, where we never had anything like this happen in our city before.”
The Alabama Law Enforcement Agency (ALEA) State Bureau of Investigation is handling the ongoing investigation with the assistance of the Tallapoosa County Sheriff’s office, the Dadeville Police Department, the 5th Circuit District Attorney’s Office, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, WBLA reported.