When a shooting occurred at an Alabama mall on Thanksgiving night, police had assumed they killed the perpetrator. It now appears that the police were mistaken and instead killed a possibly innocent man, leaving the actual shooter at large.
The man who was shot and killed was 21-year-old Emantic Fitzgerald Bradford Jr. and he was Army veteran.
Police initially claimed that Bradford had fired at the victim, but they have since updated their report. They now say, “while Bradford was involved in “some aspect of the altercation” and was armed with a handgun, he likely did not fire the rounds that injured the two others.”
Friends and family believe that Bradford Jr., the son of a police officer, was trying to intervene in the incident. Alabama is an open carry state, “which means that it is generally legal for an adult to openly carry a firearm without a permit.”
Open carry states can make it difficult for the police to enter a live shooter situation and determine the identity of the assailant. The police fired upon Bradford Jr. once they saw he had a handgun and was fleeing from the scene.
Alabama police have since updated their statement: “Investigators now believe that more than two individuals were involved in the initial altercation. This information indicates that there is at least one gunman still at large.”
The National Rifle Association has yet to comment on the case. The organization is well known for saying, “The best way to stop a bad guy with a gun is with a good guy with a gun.”
It appears Bradford Jr. was one of those good guys with a gun and it got him killed.
The investigation is still ongoing at this time.
Update: Initial reports suggested that Bradford was active duty in the US Army. New information suggests he was an army veteran. This story and its headline have been updated to reflect the new information.
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Todd Neikirk is a New Jersey-based politics and technology writer. His work has been featured in psfk.com, foxsports.com, and PoliticusUSA. An avid pet lover, he has been known to contribute to Pet Lifestyles Magazine. He enjoys sports, politics, technology, and spending time at the shore with his family.