HOOVER, AL (WBRC) - Hoover police say the 21-year-old man shot and killed Thursday night at Riverchase Galleria “likely did not fire the rounds” that injured an 18-year-old man and struck a 12-year-old girl.
Hoover police say investigators believe that more than two individuals were involved in the initial altercation, including 21-year-old Emantic Fitzgerald Bradford Jr. of Hueytown. However, new evidence indicates that Bradford Jr. did not fire the shots that injured two people.
This new information indicates at least one gunman who is responsible for the shooting is still at-large.
Police say Bradford was fleeing the scene while brandishing a handgun, was engaged, shot and killed by a uniformed Hoover police officer. Bradford was pronounced dead at the scene at 10:11 p.m., police say.
This new information comes after Jefferson County’s Sheriff’s Office investigators and crime scene technicians interviewed numerous individuals and examined several critical items of evidence.
Hoover police say the shooting occurred around 9:30 p.m. Thursday and was a result of a physical alternation involving two adults near Footaction.
The gunman shot an 18-year-old male twice and a 12-year-old female was struck, though it is unclear when it occurred.
Hoover police released the following statement:
“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. We encourage anyone with information, photos or video evidence of this crime scene to please contact ALEA investigators. If you wish to remain anonymous and qualify for a cash reward you may contact Crime Stoppers of Metro Alabama at 205-254-7777.”
The family has hired Tallahassee-based civil rights lawyer Benjamin Crump, who also represented Trayvon Martin’s family in the George Zimmerman trail.
Crump held a press conference on Sunday morning.
Bradford’s family spoke, along with Crump, to the public.
Watch the entire press conference below:
According to police, the 18-year-old victim is at UAB with serious injuries and the 12-year-old female is being treated at Children’s and in stable condition. The officers involved in the shooting have been placed on administrative leave, pending an investigation into the shooting.
ALEA has taken over the investigation from the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office after JeffCo District Attorney Mike Anderton received a call Friday afternoon informing him of a potential conflict of interest in the investigation. Anderton says a potential witness in the case who saw what happened is the cousin of JeffCo Sheriff-Elect Mark Pettway’s wife.
The mall reopened at 6 a.m. Friday. Police say they recovered a gun left in Santa’s Village after the reopening. They are investigating the firearm.
Witnesses say they heard two separate rings of gunfire, with the incidents reportedly happening between JCPenney and Footaction.
Riverchase Galleria released the following statement:
“We are devastated by the incident that happened tonight in our shopping center. We are working closely with the Hoover Police Department and are grateful for their swift action to contain the situation. While there is no current danger to our community, the shopping center will remain closed until further notice.”