89 shell casings recovered from Dadeville mass shooting scene

Five of the six suspects in the Dadeville mass shooting appeared in court.
Published: Apr. 21, 2023 at 12:05 PM CDT|Updated: Apr. 25, 2023 at 8:07 PM CDT
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TALLAPOOSA COUNTY, Ala. (WSFA) - Five of the six suspects charged in the Dadeville mass shooting investigation appeared in court Tuesday morning for an Aniah’s Law Hearing. The proceeding is meant to deny bail to violent offenders accused of crimes ranging from human trafficking to murder.

During testimony, additional details on what happened that Saturday night that left four dead and injured 32 others were revealed. Reporter Rosanna Smith was inside the courtroom for Tuesday’s proceedings, though cameras and cell phones were not allowed.

The hearings were for five suspects, including Wilson LaMar Hill Jr., 20; Tyreese “Ty Reik” McCullough, 17; Travis McCullough, 16; Johnny Letron Brown, 20; and Willie George Brown, 19. The last suspect, age 15, has not been identified.

Five defendants told investigators they had fired weapons during the party. Willie Brown has denied involvement.

State Bureau of Investigations Lead Case Agent Jesse Thornton was one of three witnesses called to the stand for the state. He testified about arriving at the scene and the process of collecting the evidence, noting that he’d never seen anything of this magnitude in his 18 years with the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency.

According to Thornton, 89 shell casings of four different calibers were recovered from the scene. It is believed seven different guns were used, but Thornton testified that only two were recovered from the scene.

Thornton testified that Corbin Holston, one of the four victims, was found dead inside the dance studio wearing a ski mask with a gun placed on his chest. The other recovered weapon was found in the pocket of another victim, Marsiah Collins, but Thornton said it was determined that the gun was never fired.

According to testimony, upwards of 60 people were inside the dance studio at the time of the shooting.

Witnesses at the party described hearing rapid gunfire and Thornton testified that one or two handguns were altered with a Glock switch, which is illegal.

Thornton said the investigation determined Holston may have been the first to fire a weapon. Thornton also testified that the guns used by suspects Hill and Johnny Brown were connected to previous shootings in Auburn and Tallassee.

Defense attorneys did call to the stand Wilson Hill’s mother and Willie Brown Jr.’s stepbrother.

According to District Attorney Mike Segrest, the judge will have 48 hours to decide if Aniah’s Law fits this case.

While two other suspects, the McCullough brothers, were scheduled for an appearance Tuesday, that hearing is “closed-door” due to their ages.

The Alabama Law Enforcement Agency is still asking those attending the party to come forward and provide information about what happened.

“We still truly believe that everybody that was at the venue that night has not come forward, and we have not had an opportunity to interview them,” Burkett said.

Law enforcement asks those with videos or photos from the incident to share them.

Those items can be uploaded HERE. Also, if you have information for the 5th Circuit District Attorney’s Office concerning the incident or need to provide information to the individuals or families concerning victim services, please click HERE.

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