Police Admit They May Have Killed the Wrong Man in Alabama Mall Shooting

Riverchase Galleria in Hoover, Alabama
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Authorities in Alabama are now saying they may have shot and killed the wrong person after gunfire erupted in a local mall Thanksgiving night. 

The shooting happened at the Riverchase Galleria in Hoover, located about 10 miles south of Birmingham. 

In a statement released by the Hoover Police Department, they said they mistakenly thought 21-year-old Emantic Fitzgerald Bradford Jr. fired the shots that left both an 18-year old and a 12-year-old in the hospital.

At first, police stated that Bradford began shooting after getting into an argument with the 18-year-old, then an officer shot and killed Bradford as he was trying to run away. 

Now authorities have revised that account. Investigators are saying that Bradford was running away while holding a handgun. They go on to state he was "engaged, shot and killed by a uniformed Hoover police officer." 

Even though investigators believe Bradford was involved in "some aspect of the altercation," he was likely not the one who shot and injured two others, according to CNN.

Spokesman Capt. Gregg Rector said in part, "We regret that our initial release was not totally accurate, but new evidence indicates that it was not."

The Jefferson County Sheriff's Office investigators and crime scene experts discovered the error after examining evidence and speaking to witnesses. 

The new evidence has also led authorities to believe more than two people were involved in the initial altercation, and the gunman is still on the loose. 

The police officer who allegedly killed Bradford has been placed on administrative leave, pending an investigation

Bradford's aunt, Catherine Jewell, told reporters, "They killed him for no reason at all. He wasn't the shooter."

She continued, "He was a great guy, he was very respectable. They did him wrong."

Jewell also said her nephew was in the Army, home for Thanksgiving. 

The Jefferson County district attorney has told Hoover police that the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency will take the lead on the investigation. Hoover police said they will cooperate fully, while also conducting their own separate investigation.

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