2 Alabama teens arrested over birthday mass shooting that killed 4 and injured 32

Fire fighters washing the scene of a mass shooting that left four people dead and 28 other wounded in Dadeville, Alabama, on April 16. Photo: Megan Varner/Getty Images

Alabama law enforcement officials said on Wednesday they charged and arrested two suspects over the mass shooting at a birthday party that left four people dead and dozens of others wounded in the town of Dadeville last weekend.

Why it matters: Sgt. Jeremy Burkett of the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency said during a press conference that police arrested the suspects, 16 and 17, from Tuskegee, on Tuesday and charged them each with four counts of reckless murder.

Details: Authorities said the shooting occurred around 10:34 pm local time on April 15 at the Mahogany Masterpiece dance studio in Dadeville, where friends and family were celebrating the birthday of a 16-year-old girl.

  • The four people killed were identified by authorities as Shaunkivia Smith, 17; Marsiah Collins, 19; Corbin Holston, 23; and Philstavious Dowdell, 18.
  • Burkett previously said the 32 other people injured during the shooting suffered a "wide variety of injuries" ranging from minor to critical.
  • Authorities said Wednesday at least four people injured in the shooting were still in the hospital in critical condition.

What they're saying: The local District Attorney Mike Segrest said on Wednesday the suspects will be charged as adults and additional charges would be filed.

  • "We're going to make sure every one of those victims have justice and not just deceased," Segrest said.
  • Segrest said the family had been celebrating the 16th birthday of Alexis Dowdell, whose brother, Philstavious Dowdell, was among those killed.
  • Alexis Dowdell, who was not injured, told AP her brother died while trying to protect her.
  • "There's an uncut cake and unburnt 16 candles that never got lit," Segrest said. "On her 16th birthday party, she knelt by her brother as he took his last breath. That’s what we're dealing with."

The big picture: The mass shooting in Dadeville had been the 32nd to occur this month in the U.S., and the seventh of nine over the weekend, according to statistics compiled by the Gun Violence Archive.

  • At least eight other mass shootings have occurred across the country since the shooting in Dadeville, according to the archive.

Go deeper: Vast majority of Americans believe mass shootings preventable

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