A man was shot and killed by police inside an Alabama mall after they believed that he was the suspect of a shooting that had just taken place. Initial police reports stated that they had their guy, and that he was shot and killed.
Now, police say that it’s very unlikely that the man killed, 21-year-old Emantic Fitzgerald Bradford Jr., was the person responsible for shooting an 18-year-old male and also shooting a 12-year-old girl who was shot as an innocent bystander.
Bradford had a handgun and was involved in the altercation that led to the shooting of a 12-year-old girl and an 18-year-old man, but he likely was not the person who fired the rounds that struck the victims, AL.com reported.
“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 the newspaper.
Bradford’s interactions with the initial dispute are not known. Police are unsure as to whether he was initially involved, or if he was trying to intervene during a fight in an attempt to break it up, but reports tell us that he was probably involved in some manner in the initial fight. To what capacity is still unknown, however. While he was running, reports say that he had a handgun in his hands. This is apparently what responding police saw, and that could be what led to the fatal shooting.
“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 … “
— Hoover Police Dept (@HooverPD) November 24, 2018
Police now believe that at least one person responsible for the shootings is still at large.
Bradford was an Army recruit and enlisted in 2017.
We will have a follow-up article once more information becomes available. We’ll also be discussing the importance of armed citizens being cautious of what they’re doing if they draw their firearm in a situation like this. The last thing you want is to make yourself a target for responding police.
Pure speculation, but here’s what I believe could have happened;
- Bradford either was involved in the altercation or was attempting to break it up
- Once shots were fired from someone else, he drew his firearm in preparation to defend himself
- While running away, firearm still in hand, he is shot by responding police after they mistake him for the gunman
There is no doubt that the police were quick to label Bradford the suspect, and that’s a terrible way to close a case without the evidence to support it.
Whether or not Bradford was an instigator in the initial fight, let’s not let his name go down in history as being the person responsible for firing the shots that injured two people, including a 12-year-old girl.
More to come.