A 20-year-old man has been apprehended in connection with a Thanksgiving shooting incident that turned deadly at a shopping mall in Hoover, Alabama.
The initial shooting set off a chain reaction in which a police officer shot and killed an armed African-American man whose family claims was just trying to help calm the chaos, authorities said Thursday, ABC News reported.
Erron Martez Dequan Brown was taken into custody in Fairburn, Georgia on Thursday morning for the attempted murder of 18-year-old Brian Xavier Wilson in a shooting at the Riverchase Galleria mall, according to the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency.
That shooting, in which Wilson was injured, also led to the fatal police-involved shooting of 21-year-old Emantic Fitzgerald Bradford, according to authorities.
Bradford was shot by police after another man, first suspected to be Bradford but now believed to be Brown, and the 18-year-old got into a physical altercation, Hoover police said.
Police authorities initially said they believed Bradford pulled out a gun and shot and injured the 18-year-old. In the moments following the shooting, as Hoover police responded and worked to secure the scene, Bradford, who had a gun in his hand, was shot and killed by an officer, authorities said.
However, police later said Bradford did not fire his gun in that initial altercation with the teen, and that the suspected gunman was actually at-large.
“They killed him for no reason at all. He wasn’t the shooter,” Bradford’s aunt, Catherine Jewell, told reporters Saturday. “He was a great guy, he was very respectable…They did him wrong.”
Hoover Mayor Frank Brocato, Hoover Police Chief Nicholas Derzis and a city councilman have met with Bradford’s family, expressing “their sincerest condolences and prayers,” the city said in a statement.