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An officer goes under a piece of crime scene tape, a day after a shooting at a teenager's birthday party in a dance studio in Alabama. Alamy Stock Photo
Mass Shooting

Two teenage boys arrested over Alabama birthday party shooting that left four dead and 32 injured

The arrests follow three days of investigations and manhunts.

US POLICE HAVE arrested two teenagers and charged them with murder over a “Sweet 16″ birthday party shooting in a small Alabama town that left four people dead and 32 injured.

The weekend violence in the tight-knit community of Dadeville in the US South was one of several mass shootings in recent days in a nation awash in firearms and which endures tens of thousands of shooting deaths every year.

The Alabama Law Enforcement Agency (ALEA) arrested the suspects late yesterday.

The arrests of Ty Reik McCullough, 17 and Travis McCullough, 16 came after three days of investigation and manhunts.

They were each charged with four counts of “reckless murder”.

The suspects are from Tuskegee, a town around 50 kilometers south of Dadeville.

Despite being minors the pair will be prosecuted as adults, District Attorney Mike Segrest said, noting that four victims who remain hospitalized are in critical condition.

“We’re going to make sure every one of those victims has justice, and not just the deceased,” Segrest told reporters.

State and local officials had been facing criticism from the public for failing to release critical details about the violence for days, including whether any suspects were on the loose, or had been killed or wounded in the gunfire.

Authorities have still given no information about the shooters’ possible motive for the deadly rampage, whose dozens of victims were mostly in their teens.

After the arrests, ALEA Sergeant Jeremy Burkett pleaded for members of the public who were at the party, at a rented dance studio in Dadeville, to have the “personal courage” to tell police what they witnessed.

Among those killed was 18-year-old Philstavious Dowdell, whose sister was celebrating her 16th birthday on Saturday.

Dowdell was an accomplished high school athlete who had received a scholarship to play football at Jacksonville State University.

The party turned violent when the birthday girl’s mother told guests that she had learned people were armed and asked them to leave, according to local media reports.

The Alabama shootings came just days after a bank employee killed five people in his place of work in Kentucky.

There also has been a series of shootings in which people were shot after mistakenly ringing the wrong doorbell, approaching the wrong house, or entering the wrong parked car.

© AFP 2023