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Two more suspects arrested in Alabama “Sweet 16“ shooting


Law enforcement officers walk through the crime scene, a day after a shooting at a teenager’s birthday party in a dance studio, in Dadeville, Alabama, U.S., April 16, 2023. REUTERS/Cheney Orr/File Photo

Authorities in Alabama on Thursday said they had made two more arrests in connection with last week’s shooting at a “Sweet 16” birthday party that left four people dead and 32 others wounded.

The Alabama Law Enforcement Agency said in a written statement that Willie George Brown Jr., 19, of Auburn, and Johnny Letron Brown, 20, of Tuskegee, were both arrested on Thursday, bringing the total number of suspects arrested to five.

The agency said that everyone arrested has been charged with four counts of “reckless murder.” All five suspects are being held in the Tallapoosa County jail with no bond. Online court records did not indicate if they had legal representation.

The other three suspects arrested are: Ty Reik McCullough, 17, and Travis McCullough, 16, both from Tuskegee; and Wilson LaMar Hill Jr., 20, of Auburn.

The shooting last Saturday took place at the Mahogany Masterpiece Dance Studio in Dadeville, a community of 3,200 people about 50 miles (80.5 km) northeast of Montgomery.

Three teenagers and a 23-year-old man were killed in the shooting.

The shooting followed separate outbreaks of deadly gun violence in Tennessee and Kentucky that prompted local leaders to call for tighter gun control measures.

Mass shootings have become commonplace in the United States, with at least 165 so far in 2023, the most at this point in the year since at least 2016, according to the Gun Violence Archive. The nonprofit group defines a mass shooting as any in which four or more people are wounded or killed, not including the shooter.