SEVERE WX : Flash Flood Watch View Alerts

As family demands to know why police killed man at Alabama mall, Hoover PD clarifies report he 'brandished' gun

As the family of Emantic Bradford Jr. continues to demand answers from Hoover police, the department Monday ...

Posted: Nov 27, 2018 2:27 PM
Updated: Nov 27, 2018 2:27 PM

As the family of Emantic Bradford Jr. continues to demand answers from Hoover police, the department Monday issued another correction of an earlier report -- this time, that Bradford had "brandished" a gun when a policeman killed him at an Alabama mall.

"Earlier, we stated that Mr. Bradford 'brandished' a gun," the statement on Facebook said, without providing details on how Bradford was holding the gun. "To clarify, the word 'brandish' was used because Mr. Bradford had a gun in his hand as police officers responded to the active shooter situation between mall patrons."

Alabama

Business and industry sectors

Business, economy and trade

Continents and regions

Crime, law enforcement and corrections

Crimes against persons

Criminal offenses

Firearms

Investigations

Law enforcement

North America

Policing and police forces

Retail and wholesale trade

Shootings

Shopping centers

Southeastern United States

The Americas

United States

Weapons and arms

Brandish typically means to wave a weapon in a threatening manner. The statement provided no additional detail as to how Bradford was holding his weapon.

Hoover police initially said Bradford shot a 12- and an 18-year-old in the Birmingham suburb's Riverchase Galleria and that an officer killed him as he fled. Police later changed the story, saying witnesses and forensic tests indicated that while Bradford may have been involved in an altercation at the mall, he likely did not fire the rounds that injured the victims.

Monday morning's update did nothing to clarify that clarification and did not provide much else in the way of new information, despite Bradford's family and civil rights attorney Ben Crump leveling a series of accusations against the department.

Among them: The officer who killed the 21-year-old never issued a warning before opening fire on Bradford, who had a concealed weapon permit, Crump said.

The shooter remains at large, the Hoover police statement said, and all pertinent departments are cooperating with the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency, which is leading the investigation. Hoover police have referred CNN's questions to ALEA.

The shooter has not been identified, nor has the officer who was working as mall security when he killed Bradford. The officer is on administrative leave, police previously said.

"We all want answers and we believe that with patience and focus, the truth will be firmly established," Monday's police statement said.

It's still unclear whether police believe Bradford was involved in any altercation before he was shot.

'Emantic's Life Matters'

Hoover Mayor Frank Brocato asked for patience with the investigation, which he said is now out of the city's hands.

"We want to stress that we're deeply and sincerely sympathetic to the family and friends of Mr. Emantic Fitzgerald Bradford Jr.," the mayor said.

Brocato said authorities are in the process of meeting with the Bradford family. Bradford's parents have previously complained that no one from Hoover has reached out to them, even though his dad has a background in law enforcement.

ALEA has "certain information" about the alleged shooter and is asking the public to help them make arrest, the mayor said. The state agency has footage of that night and will determine when it will be released, he said. As of Tuesday morning, authorities had released no information about or description of the suspect.

"We have to trust the justice process and we plead your patience in that," the mayor said.

On Monday night, protesters marched into the mall, to where Bradford, who friends and family knew as EJ, was shot.

"Ain't going let Hoover police turn me around, turn me around, turn me around," they sang.

Protesters, including a family member, locked arms at one point and chanted "EJ." They stood at the spot where Bradford was shot and accused the police of lying. Again, they chanted, "EJ," and observed a movement of silence.

One protestor held a sign that said, "Emantic's Life Matters."

Rush to judgment?

Crump said Bradford was trying to help victims to safety when he was shot. After the shooting, police provided the young man with no medical assistance, the attorney said.

Photos and videos from the scene show a man on the ground outside a shoe store on an upper floor, bleeding heavily onto the mall's cream tile floor. Several police are in the area, including officers who appear to handcuff a man nearby.

"He saw a black man with a gun, and he made his determination that he must be a criminal," Crump said Sunday, flanked by about two dozen of Bradford's relatives.

"They concluded their investigation while EJ was (lying) on the mall floor, bleeding out, dying. ... There's a murderer on the loose largely because police rushed to judgment."

'There was blood on her shirt'

Alabama Army National Guardsman Rashad Billingsley, 18, was at the mall with his cousin and two friends when the shooting erupted.

"I got down for cover. I heard two shots, then a 3- to 5-second pause and another two or three more gunshots," said Billingsley, who lives in Ashland.

Billingsley ran to the hallway where he saw the 12-year-old girl victim, "walking in the hallway, complaining her back hurt. There was blood on her shirt," he said.

The victim didn't know she had been shot until she overheard her grandmother telling her mother over the phone, he said. She started to panic.

Billingsley asked a police officer to hand him a T-shirt from a clothing rack, he said. Relying on his medical training, he used the T-shirt to stop the bleeding and apply pressure to the wound until paramedics arrived.

Once the victim was carted out, Billingsley and the victim's sister walked past a body on the way out of the mall, he said. Billingsley put his arm up to keep her from seeing it.

'He was not a killer'

Bradford's parents knew their son wasn't the shooter, Crump said. "They knew it wasn't true even before the police retracted their statement," the attorney said.

Bradford's father, who spent 25 years as a correctional officer and is battling cancer, has blasted the Hoover Police Department, saying no one has reached out to him with details of his son's death. He is demanding investigators immediately release all video of the incident.

In a CNN interview Monday, his mother, April Pipkins, said that because her son was shot in the face, she's not sure if she will ever be able to see him again. It's not clear if the family can hold an open-casket funeral, she said.

"My Thanksgiving will never be the same. I will never be able to see my son's face again or to look into his eyes or to hear him say, 'Mom, I love you,'" she said. "Not even knowing if I'll be able to have an open casket, to see him again. I am just at a loss of words right now."

Bradford had no criminal record, Crump said. He was a caretaker to his father, worked full time and helped his mother financially.

"My son was a loving -- very loving -- young man. He would give any of you the shirt off his back," Pipkins told reporters Sunday. "He loved people, period. He was not a killer."

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 752108

Reported Deaths: 13816
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion1033831790
Lake558431013
Allen41736693
St. Joseph37007565
Hamilton36617417
Elkhart29425461
Tippecanoe22938228
Vanderburgh22565400
Porter19369327
Johnson18486389
Hendricks17696317
Clark13233195
Madison13176344
Vigo12631253
LaPorte12429221
Monroe12226176
Delaware10970198
Howard10349224
Kosciusko9643121
Hancock8578147
Bartholomew8174157
Warrick7864156
Floyd7815180
Grant7248179
Wayne7164201
Boone6979103
Morgan6768141
Dubois6224118
Marshall6214116
Cass6024110
Henry5903110
Dearborn589878
Noble581688
Jackson509476
Shelby502396
Lawrence4753122
Gibson445595
Clinton443555
Harrison441775
DeKalb440385
Montgomery439890
Whitley406744
Huntington403381
Steuben400859
Miami395769
Jasper389155
Knox377691
Putnam373461
Wabash362383
Ripley347370
Adams345555
Jefferson336186
White332753
Daviess3035100
Wells295481
Decatur289892
Greene286885
Fayette284864
Posey274335
LaGrange273272
Scott270356
Clay267148
Washington246336
Randolph245183
Jennings235349
Spencer234531
Starke228159
Fountain222048
Sullivan214843
Owen212358
Fulton204043
Jay201032
Carroll193820
Orange188255
Perry187237
Rush175926
Vermillion175344
Franklin170435
Tipton166646
Parke149616
Pike138334
Blackford136232
Pulaski120847
Newton114936
Brown104443
Benton102614
Crawford102516
Martin91815
Warren84115
Switzerland8158
Union72810
Ohio57911
Unassigned0424

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 1109697

Reported Deaths: 20213
CountyCasesDeaths
Franklin1289521469
Cuyahoga1158802216
Hamilton814201251
Montgomery525861049
Summit484551006
Lucas43384824
Butler39098606
Stark33355930
Lorain25689506
Warren24612305
Mahoning22388602
Lake21219389
Clermont20138253
Delaware18892136
Licking16671225
Fairfield16589204
Trumbull16560483
Medina15618273
Greene15292248
Clark14244306
Wood13296200
Portage13254216
Allen11919239
Richland11611211
Miami10857225
Wayne9153225
Columbiana9039230
Muskingum8909135
Pickaway8664122
Tuscarawas8654251
Marion8649139
Erie8058165
Ashtabula7171179
Hancock6999133
Ross6948163
Geauga6850151
Scioto6540106
Belmont6159174
Union585049
Lawrence5741102
Jefferson5683159
Huron5554122
Sandusky5444126
Darke5420129
Seneca5350128
Washington5321109
Athens524460
Auglaize502487
Mercer487785
Shelby477095
Knox4573112
Madison444566
Ashland435997
Putnam4336104
Defiance432399
Fulton432274
Crawford4046110
Brown402761
Logan387678
Preble3859105
Clinton379266
Ottawa373581
Highland360266
Williams348578
Champaign344959
Guernsey325254
Jackson318454
Perry297350
Morrow291940
Fayette285750
Hardin275765
Henry273867
Holmes2703101
Coshocton269360
Van Wert247264
Adams243156
Pike242835
Gallia240850
Wyandot234756
Hocking220663
Carroll197548
Paulding176642
Meigs148540
Monroe136345
Noble136239
Harrison114138
Morgan110124
Vinton85717
Unassigned03
Fort Wayne
Cloudy
78° wxIcon
Hi: 84° Lo: 62°
Feels Like: 79°
Angola
Cloudy
75° wxIcon
Hi: 82° Lo: 59°
Feels Like: 75°
Huntington
Cloudy
77° wxIcon
Hi: 82° Lo: 59°
Feels Like: 79°
Decatur
Cloudy
78° wxIcon
Hi: 83° Lo: 60°
Feels Like: 79°
Van Wert
Partly Cloudy
82° wxIcon
Hi: 85° Lo: 60°
Feels Like: 82°
Daily rounds of showers and thunderstorms will increase the flood threat across northeast Indiana and northwest Ohio.
WFFT Radar
WFFT Temperatures
WFFT National

Community Events