As a horrific shooting unfolded at a mall in Alabama yesterday, one of the event’s most horrific tragedies may have come from an unlikely source.
At the mall, just a stone’s throw from Birmingham, two young people were shot by a crazed gunman as they shopped for Black Friday deals. As police responded, the chaos continued, and officers were able to shoot a kill a man who they believed was the possible perpetrator.
Now, as authorities sort through the clues, they are realizing that they may have made a terrible mistake.
An officer responding to the scene then shot and killed 21-year-old Emantic Fitzgerald Bradford Jr. of Hueytown, who police said was fleeing the scene and brandishing a weapon. Police initially said they thought Bradford had shot the teen after a physical altercation but retracted that statement Friday night.
“Over the past 20 hours, the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office investigators and crime scene technicians have interviewed numerous individuals and examined several critical evidentiary items,’’ Hoover Police Captain Gregg Rector said in a statement. “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.”
Police are still searching for the gunman.
Jefferson County District Attorney Mike Anderton said the State Bureau of Investigation would be leading the probe after discovering an eyewitness is related to Jefferson County Sheriff-Elect Mark Mettway, AL.com reported. Police has asked anyone with information regarding the shooting is asked to contact investigators.Advertisement - story continues below
The officer who shot the gunman was placed on administrative leave while the authorities investigate the shooting. The officer’s name was not released. The officers were not hurt.
A manhunt is currently underway to flush out the madman responsible.