A Birmingham radio host spoke with Hoover's police chief, Nick Derzis, Mayor Frank Brocato and the city's administrator, Allan Rice, on Thursday morning. Shortly after, U.S. Sen. Doug Jones shared his thoughts with reporters.
The officials on the radio show answered the questions they could, as listeners called in with inquiries related to the Riverchase Galleria shooting that happened on Thanksgiving. Chief Derzis confirmed the officers at the mall were on duty for Hoover, working a 'special detail.'
Derzis said the officers heard shots and ran toward them. City leaders also spoke about the protesters, specifically those blocking traffic. They said they are working with other communities across the country who have been through similar situations.
One business owner who called into the show pleaded with people to come and shop at the Galleria and surrounding stores because this ordeal has impacted hers negatively.
As the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency continues investigating, Sen. Jones urges them to provide more information.
"That's going to be critical," Sen. Jones said. "I know we've got to balance an investigation with a need for public transparency and knowledge, but I would hope that these people of the state that are in charge will see the necessity to get this thing moving, put it at the top of the list, and get it to a point where some more information can be given to the Bradford family and to the Hoover community at large so that we can understand what happened."
The deadly shooting has captured national attention. However, Jones said federal authorities probably wouldn't get involved, based on what we know.
"It would have to be done as a civil rights under color of law investigation," Sen. Jones said.
As WHNT News 19 reported, the evidence will be turned over to the defense, once ALEA gives it to prosecutors. There's no guarantee the public will ever see it.
Chief Derzis said patience is key in the investigation because there are so many potential witnesses when talking about a scene at a crowded mall. At this time, ALEA said they don't have any idea when the investigation will conclude.