An armed 21-year-old man killed by an officer on Thanksgiving night in a mall in Alabama "probably did not fire the shots that wounded two people and sent scared buyers off guard," he said the police with.
The authorities initially believed that Emantic Fitzgerald Bradford Jr., known as EJ, had fired rounds at the Riverchase Galleria in Hoover, south of Birmingham, where an 18-year-old and a 12-year-old Hoover police spokesman Capt. Gregg Rector said in a statement.
First, the police said Bradford opened the fire after an altercation with the 18-year-old, and a police officer killed him deadly as he fled the scene.
But late on Friday, police changed the story, stating that although Bradford was involved in "one aspect of the altercation" and armed with a hand gun, he probably did not fire the rounds that wounded the other two.
"We regret that our first press release was not entirely accurate, but new evidence suggests that this was not the case," said Rector.
Police: Persons Involving More Than Two
The new information was released after the investigators of the Jefferson County Sheriff Office and the crime scene experts spoke to witnesses and investigated evidence.
"Investigators now believe that more than two people were involved in the initial altercation," said Rector. "This information indicates that at least one armed man is still at large."
Police have not provided any name or description of the entire shooter.
The officer involved in the shootings is on administrative leave until an investigation is pending
Bradford's family released this statement on Saturday afternoon:
"Our family is totally shaken, desperate and saddened by the tragic death of our beloved" EJ. "EJ was a dedicated son and brother who devoted his life to serving his country and always doing the right thing. Rest assured that we work diligently with our attorney team to find out exactly what happened and why this policeman killed our son. We will never forget EJ and ask for your continued prayer during this incredibly difficult time. "
Members of the Bradford family have received civil rights lawyer Benjamin L. Crump, a law firm resignation. [Jefferson County County Attorney] informed Hoover police on Friday that the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency would take the lead in the investigation into the sheriff's office of the Sheriff's District. Hoover police will "fully support and cooperate" in this investigation and "conduct an internal but separate investigation into the shooting," he said.
These police would withdraw their account of an officer who killed a shooter so quickly. It is unusual, said former law enforcement analyst CNN Tom Fuentes on Saturday. Because new information pointed to an armed gunman, they had to do so "for the sake of the public."
The first report, says Fuentes, reflects "pressure on police and authorities if there is an officer." it was about getting information as quickly as possible, even when it comes to speculation or they come to a conclusion.
Protesters Demand Justice Outside the Mall
Several dozen demonstrators, including women calling themselves Bradford's relatives, gathered outside the mall early Saturday afternoon to demand justice as CNN member WVTM footage showed ,
Holding signs labeled "Justice for EJ" and "Black Lives Matter", they compared Bradford's case with those of other black Americans shot dead by police in high-profile incidents, including Walter Scott, who was in North Charleston in 201
Slowly walking around the mall before entering. "No Racist Police."
A demonstrator blamed the attention of officials at the protest line who blamed Bradford for killing Bradford and demanded the arrest of the police officer who shot the 21-year-old.
More one speaker referred to Bradford's military service. But while Bradford found out on his Facebook page that he was an American combat engineer, he never completed advanced one-to-one training and did not serve in the army, said Lt. Col. Manny Ortiz, an army spokesman, to CNN.
Freaking Out & # 39 ;, Then Escape
Filming at Alabama's largest closed mall took place just before 10pm (11pm ET) Thursday.
The police do not know how the confrontation started, but they do not believe that the 18-year-old who was injured was armed, they said. According to the police, an armed man opened the fire and shot the teenager twice in the torso.
An armed Hoover police officer working in the security shopping center then confronted an armed man who ran away from the scene and killed him deadly, authorities said.
A 12-year-old girl, called by the police as a spectator, was shot once, but who does not know who, said Rector. The two injured were taken to hospitals.
Witnesses reported chaotic scenes as gunfire rang out, customers shouted and employees worked to help people flee or hide.
"They (put) us in storage cupboards and locked the doors. And then we sat there for five to ten minutes and were all freaked out, "said Lexie Joyner of CNN subsidiary WBRC. "And then they opened the escape door and we were able to escape."