Dadeville shooting suspect denied youthful offender status
By WVUA 23 News Producer MJ Miller
Three suspects involved in a shooting at a sweet 16 birthday party in Dadeville were back in court Thursday. The shooting left four people dead and more than 30 people injured in April 2023.
Brothers Willie and Johnny Brown and Wilson Hill Jr. applied for youthful offender status. They were all scheduled for status hearings Thursday morning.
While Hill and Willie Brown’s hearings were postponed until October, the judge denied Johnny Brown’s youthful offender status.
Three others are also charged in the shooting. Together they are:
- Wilson LaMar Hill Jr., 20, of Auburn
- Johnny Letron Brown, 20, of Tuskegee
- Willie George Brown Jr., 19, of Auburn
- Tyreese “Ty Reik” McCullough, 17, of Tuskegee
- Travis McCullough, 16, of Tuskegee
- A sixth suspect, a 15-year-old from Tuskegee
The six are each charged with four counts of reckless murder in connection with the April 15 shooting. Two Dadeville High School seniors, Phil Dowdell, 18, and Shaunkivia Nicole “KeKe” Smith, 17, were killed. Also killed were Marsiah Emmanuel “Siah” Collins, 19, and Corbin Holston, 23.
Survivors to the Associated Press described a bloody and chaotic scene as gunfire erupted at the birthday celebration for Dowdell’s sister. Investigators believe seven handguns were used during the shooting and that at least one may have been altered with an illegal “switch” to make it fire more rapidly.
Investigators have not discussed a motive or what they believe led to the shooting. How the shooting began and who fired first is expected to be a key issue for the defense as the case moves forward.