Authorities are saying they have mistakenly fatally shot a 21-year-old man they believed to have fired shots inside a mall in Alabama on Thanksgiving night.
Police say #EmanticFitzgeraldBradfordJr. was armed but “likely did not fire” the shots that wounded an 18-year-old and 12-year-old and sent terrified shoppers running for cover at the #RiverchaseGalleria in #Hoover, which is about 10 miles south of #Birmingham, according to @CNN. The information was released in a statement by the #HooverPoliceDepartment.
Officers initially said that Bradford opened fire after an altercation with the 18-year-old and an officer fatally shot him as he fled the scene. But now police have changed that story, saying that while Bradford was involved in “some aspect of the altercation” and was armed with a handgun, he likely did not fire the rounds that injured the two others.
“We regret that our initial media release was not totally accurate, but new evidence indicates that it was not,” Hoover police spokesman Capt. Gregg Rector said in the statement.
The error apparently came to light after Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office investigators and crime scene experts spoke to witnesses and examined evidence, according to police.
“Investigators now believe that more than two individuals were involved in the initial altercation,” Rector said. “This information indicates that there is at least one gunman still at large.”
The officer who was involved in the shooting is currently on administrative leave pending an investigation, police said.
Rector said the Jefferson County district attorney informed Hoover police Friday that the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency will take over the lead role in the shooting investigation from the county sheriff’s office.
Hoover police will “assist and cooperate fully” in that inquiry and will “conduct an internal but separate investigation” of the officer-involved shooting, he said.
We continue to pray for the victims involved.
TSR STAFF: Christina C! @cdelafresh