A 21-year-old Hueytown, Alabama, man was shot and killed by police after responding to a Thanksgiving mall shooting.
NBC News reports the victim, identified as Emantic Fitzgerald Bradford Jr., was initially thought to be involved in the shooting of an 18-year-old man and a 12-year-old girl. The shooting took place in the Riverchase Galleria Mall, just south of Birmingham. Witnesses told media they heard 10 shots at the time.
Bradford, armed with a handgun, was among the scores of other mall-goers fleeing when an unnamed Hoover police officer fired on him.
Initial reports claimed Bradford fired at the 18-year-old during an altercation; however, authorities admitted they were incorrect. He was reportedly not responsible for shooting anyone.
“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,” Hoover police Capt. Gregg Rector told the media.
Photos circulating online shows the victim dressed in Army uniform adding to the claims he may have responded to the shots.
“We regret that our initial media release was not totally accurate, but new evidence indicates that it was not,’’ Rector said. “We remain committed to maintaining the integrity of this investigation, helping determine the facts involved … “
According to CNN, investigators believe there were at least two men involved in the fight and one gunman possibly responsible for the shooting still at large. The unidentified officer who killed Bradford has been placed on administrative leave.
“We are devastated by the incident that happened last night in our shopping center,” wrote Lindsay Kahn, a spokesperson for Brookfield Properties retail group which owns the mall. “We are working closely with the Hoover Police Department and are grateful for their swift action to contain the situation.”
This tragic shooting took place just a week after the shooting of Chicago-area security guard Jemel Roberson, who responded to a gunman opening fire in a bar.
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