Timeline of events in Alabama mall shooting
Authorities have told an evolving story in the aftermath of a shooting that left a black man dead inside Alabama’s largest shopping mall on Thanksgiving night.
The Hoover Police Department initially described a man killed by police inside the Riverchase Galleria as “the threat” in the shooting. But on Thursday, authorities arrested another man on a charge of attempted murder in the wounding of one of two people who were injured.
Here is a timeline of the case, which has sparked continuing protests over the police killing of Emantic “EJ” Bradford Jr.:
THURSDAY, NOV. 22
Hoover Police Chief Nick Derzis told reporters that police officers “took out the threat” within seconds of a shooting at the mall. Police later identify the man shot by police as the 21-year-old Bradford.
Derzis said: “I’m very, very proud of the Hoover police officers who were on the scene. ... They heard the gunfire. They engaged the subject and they took out the threat. .... I’m talking about seconds. From the time that shooting took place, they engaged and it was safe within seconds that it happened. ... Our officers were close enough that they heard the gunfire. They saw the gentleman that got shot go down and then within seconds they encountered the individual with the gun who had just shot and then they engaged. This thing was very, very quick.”
FRIDAY, NOV. 23
Authorities retract earlier claims that Bradford was the shooter. From a police statement: “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. .... We regret that our initial media release was not totally accurate, but new evidence indicates that it was not.”
MONDAY, NOV. 26
After a weekend demonstration at the mall, the city and Hoover police issue a joint statement expressing sympathy to the Bradford family and attempting to update the situation.
It said: “We can say with certainty Mr. Bradford brandished a gun during the seconds following the gunshots, which instantly heightened the sense of threat to approaching police officers responding to the chaotic scene,” the statement said.
Later that same day, in response to media questions, the city clarifies that by “brandished” they meant that Bradford had a gun in his hand.
TUESDAY, NOV. 27, AND WEDNESDAY, NOV. 28
The city confirms that officials including the police chief met with members of the Bradford family on Nov. 27. The city issued a statement the next day that said officials: “expressed their sincerest condolences and prayers to Mr. Bradford’s family on their loss. Chief Derzis acknowledged and apologized for the issuance of an inaccurate public statement in the wake of this tragedy that implied that Mr. Bradford was the suspected shooter.”
THURSDAY, NOV. 29
The Alabama Law Enforcement Agency announces that Erron Martez Dequan Brown, 20, of Bessemer was captured in Georgia and charged with attempted murder in the shooting of one of two people wounded at the mall on Thanksgiving night. Around the same time, Hoover city officials asked state law enforcement officials who are investigating Bradford’s death for permission to release information about the shooting.
In response to Brown’s arrest, the city said in a statement: “This is an important milestone in the continued work to find answers about what happened in last Thursday’s tragic incident. The City continues to cooperate with ALEA to understand exactly what happened at the scene where Emantic ‘EJ’ Bradford, Jr. lost his life and an 18-year-old and 12-year-old were wounded.”