Evidence suggests initial suspect didn’t fire shots at Riverchase Galleria in Hoover, Police say gunman still at large

(Photo: Carol Robinson, AL.com)

HOOVER, Ala. – One person is dead and two others were injured Thanksgiving night in a shooting at the Riverchase Galleria, according to Hoover Police. Now authorities believe another person could have been responsible for the shooting and is still at large.

Police say a fight between more than two people, including an 18-year-old male, resulted in gunfire. Authorities have identified the man that was shot by a Hoover police officer as Emantic Fitzgerald Bradford of Hueytown.

“The person that shot the 18-year-old was fleeing the area when he was confronted by two Hoover officers who were in uniform,” Captain Gregg Rector said during a news conference on Friday. “One of our Hoover officers did engage that individual, shot him and he is dead on scene.

The Alabama Law Enforcement Agency has taken over the investigation. The Hoover Police Department confirms that Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office investigators and crime scene technicians interviewed many people and examined critical evidence that leads them to believe that while Bradford was involved in the altercation, he may not have fired the rounds that injured the 18-year-old victim.

Authorities say that more than two individuals were involved in the original altercation and their information indicates there could be at least one gunman still at large.

If anyone has any information, photos, or video evidence of the crime scene please contact ALEA investigators. If you wish to remain anonymous and qualify for a cash reward, you can also contact Crime Stoppers of Metro Alabama at (205) 254-7777.

Rector said the 18-year-old and a 12-year-old girl were transported to area hospitals to receive treatment. Their conditions are unknown at this time.

The Riverchase Galleria released the following statement via Facebook:
“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.”

CBS 42 reports the mall has reopened for business at 6 a.m.

Our news partners at AL.com reported a group of protesters outside the mall early Saturday afternoon.

Carlos Chaverst Jr., president of the Birmingham activist group Justice League, was in charge of the event.

He called for the firing of Rector, along with publicly releasing the name of the officer who shot Bradford.

Bradford’s aunt Catherine Jewell also stated that Bradford was on furlough from the Army when he was in Birmingham. However, the US Army did state, “Emantic Fitzgerald Bradford, Jr reported to initial entry training in November 2017 and was administratively separated in August 2018 before completing training; therefore, he was not awarded a Military Occupational Specialty.”
Protesters marched in the mall chanting slogans such as “Police lied, and they still lying,” “Not one more time,” and “stop shopping here.”

Later on Saturday, the Alabama NAACP condemned the shooting.

In a news release, they called for legislators to take action.

“The Alabama State Conference of the NAACP is calling on our legislators to to create legislation to end excessive force against black and brown people,” they stated.

Alabama NAACP President Benard Simelton expressed concern for the aftermath of the shooting.

“We need to know the standard of procedures used in this case and why was this young man left on the floor to die without CPR being rendered to save his life,” he added.”

Open here to read the full statement.