Dadeville, AL: Three arrested in Sweet Sixteen mass shooting – National & International News – WED 19Apr2023


Dadeville, AL: Three arrested in Sweet Sixteen mass shooting.

After Ralph Yarl, two more cases of people being shot for innocent mistakes.

Fighting between Sudan rival armies continues for 5th day.



Three arrested in AL Sweet Sixteen mass shooting

Ty Reik McCullough, 17, and Wilson LaMar Hill Jr., 20. No photo is available for Travis McCullough, 16. Source: WSAF

Three people have been taken into custody and charged with four counts of reckless murder in Saturday’s mass shooting in Dadeville, AL. Last night, police arrested Ty Reik McCullough, 17, and his brother Travis, 16, both from Tuskegee, about 30 miles from Dadeville.

Authorities say the teens will be charged as adults. They also said there would be more charges pertaining to the other surviving victims.

Just today, police arrested a third person, Wilson LaMar Hill Jr., 20, of Auburn. It’s not yet clear what if any connection Hill has to the McCullough brothers.

Four young people were killed in the shooting at a Sweet Sixteen birthday party: Phil Dowdell, 18, of Camp Hill; Corbin Holston, 23 and Shaunkivia “Keke” Smith, 17, both of Dadeville; and Marsiah Collins, 19 of Opelika. Dowdell was the older brother of the birthday girl, Alexis, and died trying to protect his sister.

As of now, 32 people are reported as having been injured at the party. Nine people are still in the hospital, five of whom are in critical condition.

Many questions remain

Many have expressed frustration with the lack of information from law enforcement in recent days. On Monday, members of local and state law enforcement made a public appeal for information. They were also seeking photos and video from the night of the shooting, which took place at a dance hall in Dadeville’s historic downtown.

So far, police have not shared any speculation as to a motive for the shooting. The charge of reckless murder does not suggest premeditation. Reckless murder applies when one takes dangerous action with indifference to human life.

The arrest of three suspects may back up an account from the DJ at the party who thought there were multiple shooters. The DJ was not aware of any altercation leading up to the shooting. About an hour before the shooting, organizers halted the party when they learned an attendee was carrying a gun. They asked anyone with a gun to leave, but no one did. 

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After Ralph Yarl, two more cases of people being shot for innocent mistakes

Last week, 16-year-old Ralph Yarl of Kansas City, MO, was shot and wounded when he went to the wrong house to pick up his little brothers. The homeowner who shot Yarl, Andrew Lester (either 84 or 85 depending on the source), claimed that he was “scared to death” at the sight of a Black man attempting to open his storm door. Lester reportedly fired at Yarl twice without warning, striking him in the left side of his forehead and then in the arm.  According to Yarl’s account, Lester then yelled, “Don’t come around here!”.

Two similar cases have cropped up in recent days.

NY woman killed after turning around in a driveway

On Saturday night in the town of Hebron, NY, 65-year-old homeowner Kevin Monahan fired two shots at a vehicle that had turned around in his driveway. Monahan fired as they were driving away. As in the Kansas City case, Monahan fired without warning. None of the occupants of the car even attempted to get out of the car. They’d gotten lost looking for a friend’s house on the dark rural roads.

Inside the car were several people, including 20-year-old Kaylin Gillis from Schuylerville, about 20 miles away. She was struck and her friends had to drive for a few miles to get a cell phone signal to call for help. Unfortunately, her wound was fatal. A local news source reported that Monahan used a 12-gauge shotgun with a large lead slug, usually used in big game hunting. Police haven’t confirmed this.

Hebron Town supervisor Brian Campbell says it’s “very easy for people to get lost on back roads here”.

“You don’t know how many times I’ve been awakened early in the morning. People lost, run out of gas, over a ditch. You go tow them out, put them on their merry way. You never think of your own safety even,” Campbell said.

But according to a neighbor, Monahan had developed a very different attitude to unintentional interlopers on his land. The neighbor said Monahan had become more and more upset about people making wrong turns in his driveway.

Unlike the Kansas City case in which the shooter was white and the victim Black, both Monahan and Gillis are white. Monahan is in custody facing a second degree murder charge.

Two Texas cheerleaders shot after getting into the wrong car

A little after midnight on Tuesday in Elgin, TX, (near Austin) some cheerleaders were coming home from practice and stopped outside a supermarket where one of them had parked their car. One of the cheerleaders, Heather Roth, got out of a friend’s car and into what she thought was her own car. Then she realized there was a man in the passenger seat. She then got out of that car and back into the friend’s car.

The man, identified as Pedro Tello Rodriguez Jr., 25, then got out of the car and went to confront them. Roth rolled down her window to apologize for the mistake and Rodriguez started yelling and shooting. He continued shooting as the car attempted to drive away, wounding Roth and her friend Payton Washington.  After firing 4 or 5 rounds total at the car, Rodriguez fled the scene. Police later arrested him at his home and charged him with deadly conduct, a third-degree felony.

Roth’s wound was superficial and paramedics treated and released her at the scene. Washington was more seriously injured and had to be airlifted to a hospital, where she remains in critical condition.

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Sudan: Fighting between rival armies continues for 5th day

In the Sudanese countryside and in the capital of Khartoum, fighting between the Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) and the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) continues despite several attempts at a ceasefire. At least 270 people have been killed, many of them outside of Khartoum.

In the city, home to 5 million people, conditions are becoming unlivable for most. Gun and mortar fire is constant and there are reports of airstrikes by the SAF on civilians structures the RSF have seized. Electricity and running water have been cut off in parts of the city. Food and medical supplies are also dangerously low. 

International workers, including foreign diplomats and aid workers, have also been targeted with gunfire or even sexual violence. US Secretary of State Antony Blinken confirmed yesterday that a diplomatic convoy flying US flags had come under fire. No one was hurt. International agencies and embassies have had trouble getting their people out. Airports aren’t operational and attempting to flee by the roads is dangerous. Most countries and agencies have advised their workers to remain sheltered in place.

Despite the dangers, thousands of Khartoum residents are fleeing the city, either in vehicles or on foot. 

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