HOOVER, Ala. (WIAT) — Police report new evidence indicates more than two people were involved in the initial altercation outside of the Footaction shoe store near J. C. Penny at the Riverchase Galleria and that the man shot and killed by police who was initially named as the gunman likely did not fire shots that injured two.
Just before 10 p.m. Thursday night as the Galleria was full of shoppers on Thanksgiving, Hoover police responded to a shooting at the mall that sent an 18-year-old and 12-year-old to the hospital.
Preliminary information Thursday night suggested that two individuals were involved in a physical altercation that led to 21-year-old Emantic Fitzgerald Bradford Jr. shooting an 18-year-old man multiple times. Authorities report, Bradford was seen fleeing the shooting scene while brandishing a handgun, was engaged, then shot and killed by a uniformed Hoover Police officer.
However, after interviewing eyewitnesses and examining several critical evidentiary items, police report that while 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 or the 12-year-old victim.
Investigators now believe that more than two subjects were involved in the altercation. Hoover Police report the information indicates that there is at least one gunman at large who could be responsible for the shooting of the 18-year-old and 12-year-old girl.
Hoover Police are cooperating with ALEA in their efforts to investigate this shooting.
The 12-year-old girl’s mother posted to Facebook after finding out her daughter was shot in the crossfire that took place that Thanksgiving evening.
“They were upstairs, outside of J.C. Penney when a fight broke out. Shots were fired, and one of the bullets hit Molly in the back,” Julie Bennett wrote. “They took Molly to the operating room and made an incision from about two inches above her belly button to two inches below it. They found that none of her organs were damaged, and that there was no internal bleeding. The bullet had gone in her back at an angle and lodged really close to her spine.”
After her CT scan, Bennett took to Facebook to update on her daughter’s injury.
“The CT scan showed that she has a fractured rib, but her spine was not touched. The rib will heal on its own, but it will be painful for a while,” Bennet wrote with gratitude to everyone who has sent kind words.
At this time in the investigation, ALEA is still working to piece evidence together to find the third individual involved in this case.