Updated: November 25, 2018 2:45 PM ET
In the aftermath of a Thanksgiving night shooting in an Alabama mall, local police have admitted to fatally targeting the wrong man, leaving a distraught family and at least one shooter still on the loose.
Police shot and killed 21-year-old Emantic Fitzgerald Bradford Jr. on Thursday, following a shooting in the Riverchase Galleria in Hoover, Ala. The shooting left two people, including a 12-year-old girl, injured. In its original statement, the Hoover Police Department identified Bradford as the shooter who had been involved in a physical altercation before opening fire.
After examining evidence and interviewing witnesses, police now say that Bradford may not have shot the two youths, though they still believe he could have been part of the dispute which led to the shooting.
“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,” Captain Gregg Rector of the Hoover Police Department wrote in a statement.
“This information indicates that there is at least one gunman still at-large,” the statement says. “We regret that our initial media release was not totally accurate, but new evidence indicates that it was not.”
The Alabama Law Enforcement Agency (ALEA) has taken over the lead role in the investigation from the Hoover Police Department. The Hoover Police Department says it will continue to conduct a separate internal investigation of the officer who shot Bradford. That officer has been placed on administrative leave.
The revelations about the shooting has left Bradford’s aggrieved family, who called him EJ, demanding answers.
“When the police say give them the benefit of the doubt, well where was the benefit of the doubt for EJ Bradford Jr.?” Crump said.