16-year-old Travis McCullough and 17-year-old Tyreik McCullough, both of Tuskegee, Alabama, were arrested and charged with four counts each of reckless murder.
“Make no mistake: This is Alabama and when you pull out a gun and you start shooting people, we’re going to put you in jail, OK?” Sgt. Jeremy Burkett of the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency said. “We’re tired of going to the mothers and having to tell them that these kids are not coming home.”
District Attorney Mike Segrest said both suspects would be charged as adults. Prosecutors planned to ask a judge to hold them without bail. A bond hearing must be held by Friday under Alabama law.
Around 10:30 p.m. on Saturday, four people were killed and 32 were injured in the shooting at a Sweet 16 birthday party for Alexis Dowdell in downtown Dadeville, a town of 3,200.
Witnesses have said multiple people began shooting sometime after Dowdell’s mother paused the celebration to ask people with guns to leave.
The birthday girl’s brother, Philstavious “Phil” Dowdell, died in his sister’s arms. He and another victim were high school seniors, and families were left planning funerals instead of graduation celebrations.
The deceased were identified as 23-year-old Corbin Holston, 18-year-old Philstavious Dowdell, 19-year-old Marsiah Collins and 17-year-old Shaunkivia Smith.
“We can’t get into a motive right now, because that would be part of an ongoing investigation,” Burkett said Wednesday. “We can’t share that.”
Another 32 people were wounded at the party. Segrest said four people remained in the hospital in critical condition and that more charges would be coming.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.