UPDATE AND CORRECTION:

This is the latest on the mall shooting. It took a tragic turn when police realized the man they shot and killed was NOT the gunman. The gunman is still on the loose.

According to Gregg Rector of the Hoover Police Department:

“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. 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.”

“We regret that our initial media release was not totally accurate, but new evidence indicates that it was not. We remain committed to maintaining the integrity of this investigation, helping determine the facts involved, and assisting ALEA in their efforts.”

PREVIOUS REPORT:

A Hoover, Alabama, police officer who shot and killed a gunman within seconds of a gunfight that erupted in a mall packed with thousands of shoppers on Black Friday, is being hailed as a hero tonight.

According to Hoover police, a fight broke out between two teenagers near Footaction and led to an exchange of gunfire. One of the teens, an 18-year-old, was struck and the other tried to flee the area but was confronted by two Hoover police officers.

“One of our Hoover officers did engage that individual, shot him and he is dead on the scene,” Cpt. Gregg Rector said.

The Jefferson County Coroner’s Office identified the deceased as Emantic Fitzgerald Bradford, Jr., 21, of Hueytown.

Rector said a 12-year-old girl was struck by gunfire and taken to the Children’s of Alabama. She’s listed in stable condition.

The teen injured in the shooting was taken to UAB Hospital and is in serious condition, police said.

Hoover Police Chief Nick Derzis said he is “very, very proud” of the response by officers.

“From the time that shooting took place, they engaged and it was safe within seconds that it happened,” Derzis said. “You don’t see that too often. So very, very proud of that.”

Hoover Mayor Frank Brocato said this was an “isolated incident” and “something that could have happened anywhere in the country.” Brocato expressed gratitude for the actions of the officer who killed the shooting suspect.

“Unfortunately, an individual lost his life. Unfortunately, one of our police officers had to engage that individual,” Brocato said at a late-night news conference at the mall. “He did so as a professional. He did so at the risk of his own life. But he stepped in to protect thousands, and I’m grateful for that.”


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