After Wrong Man is Shot and Killed, Alabama Mall Shooter Still On the Loose

alabama hoover mall shooting bradford

courtesy theroot.com and Twitter

Gunfire broke out during a fight in the Riverchase Galleria on Thanksgiving night as shoppers hunted for bargains. Two Hoover police officers who were patrolling the mall responded. One of them and killed shot Emantic Fitzgerald Bradford Jr., who was armed with a handgun.

As CNN reports,

Authorities initially thought Emantic Fitzgerald Bradford Jr., known as E.J., had fired the rounds at the Riverchase Galleria in Hoover that left an 18-year-old and a 12-year-old hospitalized, Hoover police spokesman Capt. Gregg Rector said in a statement.

At first, police said Bradford opened fire after an altercation with the 18-year-old and an officer fatally shot him as he fled the scene.

The scene was apparently chaotic.

Police do not know how the confrontation began but don’t believe the 18-year-old who was hurt was armed, they said. A gunman opened fire, shooting the teenager twice in the torso, according to police.

A Hoover police officer who was working security at the mall confronted an armed man running away from the scene and fatally shot him, authorities said.

A 12-year-old girl described by police as a bystander was shot once, but it’s unclear by whom, Rector said. Both of the injured were taken to hospitals.

Hoover police announced that Bradford had fired the shots that injured the two who were wounded. But then the story changed. HPD later released a statement declaring that while Bradford may have been involved in the fight in some way, he wasn’t the one who fired the shots. No one seems quite sure who the shooter was. He or she seems to have gotten away.

Now the investigation has been turned over to state authorities. From NBC News,

Bradford’s family said at an emotional press conference Sunday that they were devastated by his death and by their having learned about it on social media.

“Thanksgiving will never be the same for me. It will never be the same,” Bradford’s mother, April Pipkins, told NBC News. “That’s the day I lost my son. My first born.

The family has hired civil rights attorney Benjamin Cump, who was involved in the Michael Brown and Trayvon Martin cases.

Bradford’s family and their attorney, the high-profile civil rights attorney Benjamin Crump, told NBC News on Sunday that authorities should release any relevant surveillance videos from the mall or officer body-cam footage that would shed light on what happened prior to Bradford’s death.

“Show us the video. The video will tell the story,” Crump told NBC News.

As for Bradford’s gun . . .

The family and Crump have said Bradford had a permit to carry a weapon. Alabama does not generally prohibit the open carrying of firearms in a holster or other secured manner in public, although the Riverchase Galleria states on its website that it prohibits firearms at the mall.

comments

  1. avatar Manse Jolly says:

    Having a weapon out while fleeing (depending on what facts come out) is not prudent IMO.

    More of the story will come out I’m sure.

    1. avatar possum says:

      I thought that was a little bit on the unintelligent side myself. I guess along with mother advising “Dont run with scissors” she should have added firearms too.

    2. avatar DaveR says:

      Why are you so willing to believe a version of the story that benefits the cops here?

      1. avatar DJ says:

        I’m not. Every time they shoot the wrong person they immediately go into the mode of blaming the person they shot.

        Trust the blue, I don’t they have lied too many times.

        As for the signs, are they large, at eye sight and posted at every entrance. Plenty of shenanigans when it comes to gun free nonsense.

  2. avatar Joe says:

    The keep changing the story because they screwed up and shot the first guy they saw with a gun.

    1. avatar Mark N. says:

      Bingo. For all we know, he was pursuing the shooter. Or not. I think that the police saying he may have been somehow involved in the altercation is nothing but the PD covering its ass, a convenient excuse when they have no other evidence. It will be interesting to see how this case develops. The only thing it has going for it that the police were quick to admit that they shot the wrong guy, something they likely figured out when they found out his gun had not been fired (or so I assume).

  3. avatar former water walker says:

    Paul Blart patrolling the mall apparently. I heard homie had a gun. Or not…

  4. avatar California Richard says:

    Guy was somehow involved in the altercation, pulled a gun in a “gun free zone”, didn’t shoot anybody, then ran from the scene with his gun out after the cops showed up? Or maybe he didn’t pull his gun but the cops shot him anyway, and he ended up having a gun? That’s the best we got so far? I don’t want to speculate until the witnesses go public and the video comes out, but that is all very confusing indeed.

    1. avatar FedUp says:

      Not “involved”, but “may have been involved”, exactly like 100 other people present.

      The story keeps changing to give the guy they killed as little credit as possible without directly conflicting with proven facts, as more facts become known.

      In other words, they don’t have a scrap of evidence he did one damn thing wrong, but they can’t clear him because that would make them guilty of murdering him.

      1. avatar CZJay says:

        It also sounds like the cops shot the 12 year old girl. That wouldn’t be hard to do if they mag dumped as the crowd ran out the mall.

        1. avatar California Richard says:

          No doubt all of the above is a possibility. If everything was up-and-up and went by the numbers, then the cops would be held up as heroes and their smiling faces would be plastered everywhere. I’m just waiting to see what the truth is. Maybe it’s worse than our theories or not as bad. I smell a f**k up too, but I hesitate to tell fairy tales.

        2. avatar SoBe says:

          Can’t wait to see the ballistics report. I would not be surprised the 12 yr old was shot by the LEOs also.

  5. avatar TheOtherDavid says:

    We keep seeing his social media pictures in an Army uniform and he described himself as a prior service engineer but I believe at least one Army spokesman reported that for unspecified reasons he did not complete all of his training and did not actually serve. Has anyone come across anything further about it?

    1. avatar Manse Jolly says:

      Saw that and also saw reported that he had a General Discharge.

      I was close to B’ham over the holidays and was in that mall when it first opened as well…..many moons ago.

      Is why I took an interest in this shooting.

    2. avatar jwtaylor says:

      Sleeves blank and an E1, that’s a basic training bathroom selfie.

      1. avatar possum says:

        Are the new boots the military issuing better then the old “boots black”. I’ve not worn a pair of those new ones.

        1. avatar jwtaylor says:

          As far as comfort and utility, I was a huge fan of the old black boots. I still think the Vietnam era jungle boot are the best all-around boot ever made. That said, you never have to shine the new ones. And that’s awesome. And sad.

        2. avatar Manse Jolly says:

          Jwtaylor has it right about Jungle Boots..add 550 cord as boot strings and feet are happy.

          I was never a fan of spit shining black boots and I was glad when the Army went to the tan ones.

          Don’t have to fool with them too much.

        3. avatar SoBe says:

          I don’t know about the US Army rough side out boots, but a have a pair of US Navy issue Belleville rough side out boots. The Belleville boots feel as if wearing sneakers. They are the most comfortable boots I have ever worn. However they are not as easy to keep clean as they look.

    3. avatar CZJay says:

      I heard he completed training but didn’t serve. They didn’t say anything negative about him.

      I hope people don’t start to victim blame in order to defend the police. I think I already heard some reports say he turned toward the cops with a gun after he shot two people. That was before they said he didn’t actually shoot anyone.

      So, I’m still waiting on the videos to tell us the truth. I don’t expect cops who killed the wrong person to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth because they could go to prison for a long time.

  6. avatar CWT says:

    Nice pic of the guy flashing gang signs.

    1. avatar anaxis says:

      True, several fingers in the picture have been photoshopped.

      Not surprising, considering it came from TheRoot, that website is a cesspool of BLM and SJW types.

    2. avatar anaxis says:

      Incidentally, while the military does have a large problem with current gang members in uniform, I knew several guys who would occasionally throw a sign in pictures sent to home to friends. They were never gang members, and did so out of habit because that’s how they were raised.

      1. avatar CZJay says:

        It wasn’t uncommon to see hand signs in personal pictures from the young guys serving in Iraq and Afghanistan. Tattoos weren’t taboo either.

  7. avatar Docduracoat says:

    The cops need to learn that they cannot immediately open fire on anyone seen carrying a gun!
    Citizens are legally allowed to carry guns.
    If I hear gunfire in the mall, I will have my gun in my hand as I attempt to flee.
    In case I run into the shooter or his accomplices.
    Police can’t just shoot at someone who is not threat to the public, yet has a gun.

    1. avatar Manse Jolly says:

      ……”Police can’t just shoot at someone who is not threat to the public, yet has a gun….”
      Yet they do!!
      It is not prudent to have a weapon in your hand while police are on scene.
      Not saying its right, but It is what it is.

      1. avatar S says:

        Yeah reading all these stories has made me rethink how I would intervene in a public or church shooting.
        I am motivated to stop the shooter but, dang, it only takes one trigger happy knucklehead cop who wants to be the big hero to just start shooting at the first person he sees at the scene…..
        I don’t want to be number one on the casualty list.

    2. avatar CZJay says:

      I’ve been saying you need body armor if you carry a gun. It appears mostly necessary to protect yourself from the police. You can’t rely on them not to shoot you when they see a gun or cellphone in your hand.

  8. avatar st381183 says:

    While maybe he was wrongfully shot and authorities need to answer for that, the pic definitely shows this cat flashing gang signs. Not an innocent angel but I will reserve judgement until she semblance of a factual chain of events is released.

    1. avatar GoneDownhill says:

      It’s photoshopped, and poorly at that. Great journalistic integrity from the increasingly crap writers on this site. I’m sure TTAG will chalk it up to ‘just didn’t notice’ but that’s straight bullshit and the type of racist crap that makes me not want to come here anymore

      1. avatar jwtaylor says:

        What part of the photo is photoshopped?

        1. avatar Supermike says:

          That’s what I’d like to know… looks completely legit to me.

        2. avatar anaxis says:

          At least two fingers on his right hand. Thumb & forefinger.

          As the photo came from TheRoot (& Twitter), I have no doubt it was “touched-up” by family, possibly that website.

          But given that Mr. Bradford’s father was a retired cop, Army sapper, AND he graduated from a Catholic school, I’m of the mind that either Emantic himself shooped them for the sake of his parents, or his folks did before posting it to Twitter.

          But what I want to know; when did the Army start letting IET troops have cellphones???
          Or is keistering phones and smuggling them into Basic a thing now?

          In any case, how many gangbangers have valid carry permits? I’ve heard anecdotal stories of members with clean slates carrying the heat for their homies with felony records…. but anecdotes are only one step above fake news.

  9. avatar Edward Rogers says:

    I’m inclined to wait for the dust to settle. It does appear an innocent man is dead, though.

    At the very worst, he was simply like millions of other American males. He couldn’t/wouldn’t adapt to military discipline.

    Cops are just people too, although we hold them to a higher standard. At least they didn’t run AWAY from the gunfire. As the founder and Grand Poobah of the Church of Devout Cowardice, I can’t say I wouldn’t have.

  10. avatar Ralph says:

    There’s no point in having a badge and a gun if you can’t get away with murder.

  11. avatar TheE says:

    This would all be so easy and much faster if they just released all the evidence up front as it came in. Make copies and send it out to all parties including media. The social media bonanza would solve it in 1 day

  12. avatar CNS says:

    While he didn’t fire the shots that wounded the victims, we still don’t know if the dead guy was “the wrong man”. He could have been involved in the crime, just not the killer. No word yet on if he was carrying the gun legally. No word on whether or not he had a CCW permit. There’s simply not enough information out there to make a determination yet

    1. avatar Mark N. says:

      I’ve seen a report that he had a ccw.

      1. avatar Cns says:

        Do you have the source?

  13. avatar Jonathan-Houston says:

    Meh. Anything can happen any time, any place. This just reinforces the need to holster up post-DGU and prepare for the approach of the police. Sorry, antis, this far flung outlier lends no weight to the “I told ya so!” crowd constantly arguing against carrying a self-defense sidearm.

    I’d bet more people were injured, even killed, just driving over the Thanksgiving weekend than were shot under any circumstances. Who’s arguing for giving up or confiscating cars?

    1. avatar CZJay says:

      We can’t pretend that law enforcement haven’t been instilled with a phobia of black men and guns. Most cops have a negative perception of black males. They also have a negative perception of non police keeping and bearing arms. When you add them together it becomes very risky for a black man to exercise his rights. Unfortunately, their perception becomes your reality.

      You can’t always be holstered up and you can’t change your skin color at will. Outside of wearing body armor,, I don’t see what a black man can do. The police have to change how they train and behave, which will be a benefit to everyone.

      1. avatar Slicer87 says:

        Also does not help that many PDs have a cap limit on IQs of people they are willing to hire to be officers. Perhaps the max IQ limits should be removed.

  14. avatar bryan1980 says:

    Hopefully, we can get the full story on this one. Already, it doesn’t sound like a Trayvon or Mike Brown type of situation, so at least Benjamin Crump may be on the right side of this story, for a change.

    If Bradford didn’t holster his weapon, or didn’t comply with police orders, there’s no other result this situation could have had. The cops are already responding to a shooting, and if they encounter someone with a gun in their hand, possibly not complying with orders, they’re going to assume he’s the shooter.

    1. avatar Chris Mallory says:

      When the cops make the wrong assumption and kill a citizen, they need to die in prison.

      Once again we see that cops do not deserve the privilege of carrying weapons while they are employed by the citizens.

    2. avatar Sprocket says:

      … or they just lit up the first person they saw that might possibly be the shooter.

  15. avatar Sid says:

    There are too many details not in evidence yet. The grand jury might still see this one. However, there are some key details that need to be affirmed before conclusions can be drawn.

  16. avatar CZJay says:

    In Broward county a black man is being charged with attempted murder after shooting a large black man who was choking and punching him multiple times after an argument. Apparently self defense and stand your ground does not apply for him even when his attacker is a large black male.

    Not so Gunshine state these days…

    1. avatar Sid says:

      I think you are reducing this incident to fit a narrative. Stand Your Ground may not be applicable if you instigate a confrontation.

      1. avatar CZJay says:

        I did say “self defense and stand your ground,” which are two different things.

        Choking someone for an argument and shoving match changes the circumstances. If you get into an argument, some pushing happens and one person attempts to stop your breathing things change from a scuffle to an attempt on your life, especially when you are not able to physically defend yourself.

        Imagine a female attempts to push a large man, that man starts to choke her and punch her face whilst she decides to no longer fight or can’t, then tells the man to get off, he refuses to stop even after being shot.

  17. avatar GS650G says:

    If a non cop did this murder charges would already be filed.

  18. avatar Hannibal says:

    In a potential mass shooter situation, if you draw your gun, you are risking being killed by responding officers or another lawful carrier. I have considered this and SO SHOULD YOU if you carry a gun. A situation like that is so high-stress and time-sensitive that you are putting yourself in an extremely perilous situation by running around with a gun out. The simple truth is that if you are mistaken for the bad guy in an active-shooter situation (i.e. street clothes and firearm in hand), you’re going to be shot first and handcuffed later.

    My plan? Not to draw unless I actually see the shooter and plan to engage. Otherwise it’s run away or run to cover and re-evaluate… after all, am I SURE the guy over there is a bad guy?

  19. avatar possum says:

    This tragic accident of shooting the wrong guy could have been avoided if they’d have just nuked the galleria when the shooting started……..GanG siGns? I thought the dude was itching at crabs. I’ve got to catch up on this GanG siGn stuff

  20. avatar JK says:

    This sounds like gang violence to me. 18 year old with handgun? Hmmm…

  21. avatar Ark says:

    Hoover PD sure would like you to forget that time they pointed the cameras to an innocent man lying dead on the ground and declared “we got the shooter”.

  22. avatar Aaron says:

    bradford deserved to be shot for wearing the US Army uniform incorrectly and flashing gang signs in uniform. he’s a scumbag – or was.

Write a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

button to share on facebook
button to tweet
button to share via email