The man fatally shot by Alabama police during a mall shooting on Thursday, November 22 was not the shooter they were called to repsond to.
Police have confirmed 21-year-old Emantic Fitzgerald Bradford Jr., a combat engineer in the US Army, was not the gunman at the the Riverchase Galleria in Hoover, warning that the shooter is still at large.
Bradford, the son of a Birmingham police officer, had reportedly been fleeing the scene when he was shot and killed by officers. Police have said he had been brandishing a handgun.
Bradford, of Hueytown, Alabama, was pronounced dead at 10.11pm. The Hoover Police Department officer who shot him has now been placed on administrative leave.
New information released by Hoover Police Department on the evening of Friday, November 23 stated Bradford did not fire the rounds which left an 18-year-old victim seriously injured.
The statement said Bradford is believed to have been involved in ‘some aspect of the altercation’, however it is as of yet unclear in what way he was involved.
According to the statement:
The 21-year-old male who was fleeing the shooting scene while brandishing a handgun, was engaged, shot and killed by a uniformed Hoover police officer.
The 21-year-old has now been identified as Emantic Fitzgerald Bradford, from Hueytown, Alabama. Over the past 20 hours, Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office investigators and crime scene technicians have interviewed numerous individuals and examined several critical evidentiary items.
New evidence now suggests that while Mr. Bradford may have been involved in some aspect of the altercation, he likely did not fire the rounds that injured the 18-year-old victim.
The statement continued:
We regret that our initial media release was not totally accurate, but new evidence indicates that it was not.
We remain committed to maintaining the integrity of this investigation, helping determine the facts involved, and assisting ALEA in their efforts.
Investigators believe more than two people were involved in the original altercation, indicating there still could be at least one gunman at-large responsible for shooting an 18-year-old man and a 12-year-old girl.
Someone posted this shooting in the mall at river riverchase Galleria in Hoover Alabama on Thanksgiving pic.twitter.com/3WczyXqu7A
— NIKKI (@braxtonthings) November 23, 2018
It is understood the altercation occurred shortly before 10 pm on the second floor of the mall, close to the Footaction and JC Penney stores.
The 18-year-old victim was taken to UAB Hospital, and is reported to have suffered serious injuries. The 12-year-old, who was a bystander, was taken to a children’s hospital and is said to be in a stable condition.
Eyewitness Ryan Spann spoke with ABC 33/40 about the panic which ensued in the aftermath:
Before we knew it, an entire wave of people, I mean full sprint, I’d never seen anything like it. Everyone was just yelling to run… You’re running for your life, y’know you can’t think about any of that. We were running out of the building and we had to go back around and go towards where the shooter actually was, because that’s where we’d parked.
And we were running right by one of the parking decks and a group of girls came out and they looked back towards the door which was opening, and they started shrieking, y’know, screaming in agony. And I thought the guy was gonna walk out right there and I was going to get shot.
There was a shooting last night at my hometown mall where my first job was…ugh I’m so sad and disgusted this is still happening all the time. Thankfully no victims were killed but some people are in the hospital 💔
— Ricky Dillon (@RickyPDillon) November 23, 2018
My boyfriend and I were in the store where the shooting just happened. Never seen so much fear in my life. Please pray for everyone still stuck inside the mall. This world is a scary place.
— Sarah Drew Mulvaney (@Sarahdrew2437) November 23, 2018
Hoover police detectives will reportedly now conduct a separate, internal investigation into the shooting of Bradford by the officer.
If you have a story you want to tell send it to UNILAD via [email protected]
Jules studied English Literature with Creative Writing at Lancaster University before earning her masters in International Relations at Leiden University in The Netherlands (Hoi!). She then trained as a journalist through News Associates in Manchester. Jules has previously worked as a mental health blogger, copywriter and freelancer for various publications.