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Alabama police admit they probably killed wrong man in mall shooting Thanksgiving night

Chaos erupted outside a mall in Riverside, Alabama, on Thanksgiving evening as a gunman opened fire and shot two people. Police are now saying they believe they shot and killed the wrong man. (Image source: YouTube screenshot)

A man killed by a police officer following a shooting Thanksgiving night at an Alabama mall is now not believed to be the gunman, according to published reports.

What happened?

The Riverchase Galleria in Hoover, Alabama, was crowded with shoppers looking for Black Friday deals when an 18-year-old male was shot twice and a 12-year-old female bystander was shot in the back.

An officer who arrived at the scene shot and killed Emantic Fitzgerald Bradford Jr., 21, of Hueytown, reports state. Police said he was seen fleeing the area with a weapon. At first, police believed Bradford shot the teen after a physical altercation.

But police later retracted their initial press release.

“Over the past 20 hours, the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office investigators and crime scene technicians have interviewed numerous individuals and examined several critical evidentiary items,’’ Hoover Police Captain Gregg Rector said in a statement posted on Twitter. “New evidence now suggests that while Mr. 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.”

Investigators now believed there were more than two people involved in the initial fight that took place prior to the shooting.

“There is at least one gunman still at-large, who could be responsible for the shooting of the 18-year-old male and 12-year-old female,” according to the statement.

Police are asking anyone with information about the incident to come forward and contact investigators.

The officer who shot the gunman is on administrative leave as the investigation continues. He was not injured and his name was not released.

The 18-year-old male is in serious condition, and the 12-year-old is in stable condition, according to reports.

“We regret that our initial media release was not totally accurate, but new evidence indicates that it was not,” the announcement stated.

What about the investigation?

Jefferson County District Attorney Michael Anderton told the Hoover Police Department that the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency is taking the lead role in the investigation, according to the statement.

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