Police Acknowledge They Killed the Wrong Person in Alabama Mall Shooting

“We regret that our initial media release was not totally accurate.”

ABC 33/40/AP

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On Thanksgiving night Hoover, Alabama, police shot and killed 21-year-old Emantic Fitzgerald Bradford Jr., who was known as E.J., at a shopping mall after an altercation left an 18-year-old and a 12-year-old with gun shot injuries.

Around 10:00 p.m. at the Riverchase Galleria mall just outside of Birmingham, Alabama, shoppers were taking advantage of early Black Friday bargains when gun shots rang out and sent the crowds running. Video footage shows the chaos as people raced for the exits during an announcement urging everyone to leave the mall.

Initially, law enforcement officials released a statement identifying 21-year-old Emantic Fitzgerald Bradford Jr., known as E.J., as the armed suspect who wounded the 18-year-old. Police said that he brandished a gun as he was fleeing the scene. But late on Friday, the police reversed course. Hoover Police Department spokesman Capt. Gregg Rector said in a statement, “We regret that our initial media release was not totally accurate, but new evidence indicates that it was not.” 

In a subsequent statement, the police department said Bradford may have been involved in “some aspect” of the altercation, but he “likely did not fire the rounds” that injured the two victims. 

https://twitter.com/HooverPD/status/1066173457627561985

The Hoover Police Department also said the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency would be taking over the investigation.

On Saturday afternoon, protesters gathered outside the mall, holding “Black Lives Matter” and “Justice for E.J.” signs while chanting, “No justice, no peace.” Police now believe that more than two people were involved in the altercation and that at least one gunman is still at large.  

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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