Bradford, 21, was shot by the officer at the Riverside Galleria mall, after the officer identified him as a threat to civilians, as he had a gun in his hand.
BREAKING: A Hoover police officer was justified in fatally shooting Emantic Fitzgerald “EJ” Bradford Jr. Thanksgiving night inside the Riverchase Galleria, state officials announced today https://t.co/0FohVlMFAY pic.twitter.com/fHB6z2z7Bl
— AL.com (@aldotcom) February 5, 2019
Two shootings took place on Nov. 22, 2018: the first shooting alerted on-duty mall officers, which ultimately lead to Bradford’s shooting, according to a report by the Alabama Attorney General.
Surveillance Footage & Key Evidence
After two officers at the mall heard two gunshots, they went to the location immediately, where 18-year-old Brian Wilson was found wounded, and attended by a person named “AC” (whose full name is undisclosed).
The officers then saw Bradford running toward Wilson with a gun in his hand—prompting the officer’s fire.
— Delaney Williams (@AuthorDelaneyW) February 4, 2019
Initially, the officers believed that they shot and captured the shooter, but further investigation revealed that the real shooter, 18-year-old Erron Brown, fled the scene after he shot Wilson twice. Brown can be seen escaping through JC Penney in the video.
According to USA Today, the police department initially issued a statement, affirming that Bradford was responsible for the shooting. The statement was later retracted.
Final Report by Alabama Attorney General
For more than two months, the case was under review by Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall. It was found that although the officer mistakingly believed that he shot the shooter, he “identified E.J. Bradford as an immediate deadly threat to innocent civilians and thus shot Bradford to eliminate the threat.”
Talking with @AGSteveMarshall now that his report is released, finding a Hoover police officer was justified in fatally shooting Emantic Fitzgerald “EJ” Bradford Jr. Thanksgiving night. pic.twitter.com/iffftpX2vc
— Reshad Hudson (@ReshadHudson) February 5, 2019
The officer “believed that E.J. Bradford was going to murder Brian Wilson and AC,” read the report. An Officer estimated that “E.J. Bradford was only 10 feet away from Wilson and AC as he was running toward them with a firearm.”
One of the eyewitnesses stated that she heard the officer say, “Drop your weapon, drop your weapon Sir, put your weapon on the ground,” before the officer shot Bradford. Two other witnesses also heard the officer’s demand.
Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall ruled Tuesday the Hoover police officer who shot and killed E.J, Bradford was justified in the shooting Thanksgiving night at the Riverchase Galleria. pic.twitter.com/DUNf1bgxRN
— Jamiese Price (@ThePriceReport) February 5, 2019
Although the officers mistakingly thought that Bradford shot Wilson, Bradford still posed a threat because the gun he was holding was loaded.
Suspect Now in Custody
Brown has been arrested and charged with attempted murder. He has admitted to shooting Wilson by claiming that he did it in self-defense.
Because Brown’s case is pending, the report could not fully disclose the case’s details, such as the relationship between Brown and Bradford. The report focused on the officer’s decision to fire his weapon and the details prompting that decision.
From The Epoch Times