BIRMINGHAM, Ala (WAIT) — Family and friends will gather for the funeral of Emantic “E.J.” Bradford Jr. Saturday morning.
Bradford is the 21-year-old man who was mistakenly shot and killed by Hoover police on Thanksgiving night at the Galleria mall in Hoover.
The funeral service will be held at he Boutwell Auditorium.
The junior pastor with The Rock Church said Saturday is about supporting the Bradford family in their healing process.
He said everyone is welcomed to come and pray regardless if you knew E.J.
“We all know E.J. We all have a cousin that reminds us of E.J. We have a young brother that reminds us of E.J.,” Junior pastor Mike McClure said. “So I believe the community is coming together.”
The funeral starts at 10 a.m. and they expect a big turnout since the story has made national headlines.
McClure said security is already in place and they will have a few dozen Birmingham police officers in or near the auditorium.
“We’re going to make sure we have a strong police presence but also we’re going to make sure that they’re not in the way to give off a vibe that something is wrong,” McClure said.
McClure said with all the protests and vigils going on, the family hasn’t had the time to really grieve, so that’s what Saturday is all about.
“Tomorrow isn’t about beef,” McClure said. “Tomorrow isn’t about protest or racism or hatred. Tomorrow is about everyone coming together to help a family start the healing process.”
Doors will open at 9 a.m. at the Boutwell Auditorium. All are welcomed to attend.