Shortly before 10 p.m. last Thursday, gunshots were heard on the second floor of the Riverchase Galleria shopping mall. Officers from the Hoover Police Department rushed to the scene. It is not clear whether officers saw Bradford with a gun or whether they were just told that Bradford had a gun. Either way, thinking Bradford was the gunman, an officer shot and killed Bradford. Witnesses at the mall reported that the officer shot Bradford within seconds and did not give any verbal commands—no “Stop,” no “Drop your weapon,” no “Get on the ground”—to Bradford before shooting him.
…It turns out Bradford was not the shooter police were looking for. The police department issued a statement Friday night, acknowledging their mistake: “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.”
The investigation is ongoing, but at least at this point it appears that Bradford’s only involvement in the altercation was that of a concerned citizen, trying to help the police apprehend the actual shooter or trying to help shoppers seeking safety from the gunman.