Scott Young, Staff Reporter
Last Thursday evening, a shooting broke out in the Riverchase Galleria Mall in an altercation between two people that left two injured and one dead. Emantic Bradford Jr., 21, was shot and killed by Hoover Police while “fleeing the shooting scene while brandishing a handgun.”
Initially, Hoover Police announced that Bradford was responsible for the shooting of an 18-year old man and 12-year old girl.
“I’m just grateful for the rapid professional response of our police officers. They acted with such heroism,” said Gregg Rector, a Hoover Police captain. “They acted appropriately and quickly, and you know, acted in a way that prevented something that could have been much worse than what we have here tonight. It’s already a bad situation.”
On Friday night, Hoover Police recanted their statement and said there was new evidence suggesting that Bradford was not the shooter.
“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,” said Rector in the new statement. “This information indicates that there is at least one gunman still at-large. We regret that our initial media release was not totally accurate, but new evidence indicates that it was not.”
Around 200 people gathered in the mall on the Saturday after the shooting to protest the death of a man they say was arbitrarily killed by police.
“He’s a good guy. He’s a military guy. And they did him wrong,” said Catherine Jewell, an aunt of Bradford, while attending the protest. “That’s his mother’s only child. They didn’t have to take him like that.”
Three days after the Galleria protest, a more significant gathering formed in a march on Highway 31 all the way to the Riverchase Galleria to demand answers for Bradford’s shooting death. The protestors are calling for the public release of video from the police body cameras and mall surveillance cameras, in addition to a full boycott of the Galleria Mall.
Hoover Police investigators have said that the surveillance has been handed over to the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency to conduct a full investigation on the officer shooting of Bradford.