2 a.m. press statement signals change from Hoover PD after shooting outrage

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In the wake of a Thanksgiving night shooting at Alabama’s largest mall, the City of Hoover and its police department issued a joint statement minutes before 2 a.m. Monday promising transparency in their ongoing investigation.

The incident, which occurred at the Riverchase Galleria in the Birmingham suburb of Hoover, took place shortly before 10 p.m. CT. It left a gunman dead as well as two individuals wounded.

The shooting left Emantic Fitzgerald Bradford Jr. of Hueytown shot and killed. Hoover police had initially believed Bradford to be the shooter, with officers saying they saw him fleeing the scene while brandishing a handgun. But by Friday night, Hoover police issued a statement saying Bradford“likely did not fire the rounds” the injured the other two victims. They believe the actual gunman remains at large.

On Saturday, more than 200 protesters marched through the Galleria chanting in protest of what happened to Bradford. There, they chanted “E.J.” and “no justice, no peace, no racist police,” holding signs that read “Emantic’s Life Matters.”

Overnight the City of Hoover, in a joint statement with the Hoover Police Department, issued a statement addressing the ongoing investigation.

“Our deepest sympathy and thoughts are extended to the families of those affected by the traumatic events surrounding the officer-involved shooting last Thursday evening, November 22, 2018. We extend sympathy to the family of Emantic J. Bradford of Hueytown, who was shot and killed during Hoover Police efforts to secure the scene in the seconds following the original altercation and shooting. The loss of human life is a tragedy under any circumstances,” read the statement. “Beginning today, we will provide weekly updates to news media each Monday by 10:30 a.m. Central time. We hope this helps keep the media and the public informed of what we know and are able to share without jeopardizing the investigation.”

Read the full statement below:

JOINT STATEMENT
CITY OF HOOVER, ALABAMA AND THE HOOVER, ALABAMA POLICE DEPARTMENT
OFFICER-INVOLVED SHOOTING ON NOVEMBER 22, 2018
(November 26, 2018)

We want everyone who lives in, works in, works for, or visits Hoover to know that we are a city that puts safety and respect in the highest regard for all citizens. We will be transparent throughout the course of this investigation.

Beginning today, we will provide weekly updates to news media each Monday by 10:30 a.m. Central time. We hope this helps keep the media and the public informed of what we know and are able to share without jeopardizing the investigation. We will also keep the public informed of any developments through our website and the social media pages belonging to the City and to the Police Department. Should significant developments occur prior to any given regular Monday update, we will provide that news as soon as we can.

Our deepest sympathy and thoughts are extended to the families of those affected by the traumatic events surrounding the officer-involved shooting last Thursday evening, November 22, 2018. We extend sympathy to the family of Emantic Fitzgerald Bradford, Jr., of Hueytown, who was shot and killed during Hoover Police efforts to secure the scene in the seconds following the original altercation and shooting. The loss of human life is a tragedy under any circumstances.

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. Body camera video and other available video was immediately turned over to the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Department as part of the investigation. Now, all evidence has been handed over to the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency (ALEA) to lead the investigation. Release of any video will be done as ALEA deems appropriate during the investigation.

Our thoughts are also with the family of the 18-year-old young man who suffered gunshot wounds in the altercation between mall patrons, as well as the family of the 12-year-old girl who was an innocent bystander also wounded by gunfire in the initial shooting.

These are just some of the many lives that were immediately impacted by an event so unnecessary on what should have been a peaceful Thanksgiving evening. We continue to support ALEA in its investigation of last Thursday’s tragic events, including pursuing the initial shooter who still remains at large. We have certain information about this individual and ask the public to provide ALEA with any available details that may hasten an arrest.

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