The man killed by police after a shooting at an Alabama mall on Thanksgiving was likely not the assailant, meaning the gunman is still at large, WBRC-TV reports.
Two people, including one child, were shot Thursday night at the Riverchase Galleria in Hoover, Alabama, a suburb of Birmingham. The shooting happened around 9:30 p.m. amid a fight between two men as shoppers descended on the mall in anticipation of Black Friday.
Emantic Fitzgerald Bradford Jr., 21, was running from the scene around 10 p.m. when he was shot by police and later died. While Bradford had a handgun and played a role in the incident that prompted the shooting, police believe he was not the person who actually fired the gun that hit the victims.
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“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 AL.com.
An 18-year-old man and 12-year-old girl were both injured in the shooting. They were brought to separate hospitals for treatment; as of Friday the man was in serious condition and the girl was “alert and talking.”
As police officers descended on the scene of the shooting, they confronted Bradford, who was holding a handgun. Precisely what led to his death was not immediately clear Saturday, but the television station reports that Bradford had brandished his gun and had “engaged” with a uniformed officer.
Authorities later retracted their earlier claim that Bradford was the shooter.
“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.”
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[Feature Photo: Emantic Fitzgerald Bradford Jr./Handout]