Army Says Man Shot By Cops In Mall Was Never A Soldier

Emantic Fitzgerald Bradford Jr. was fatally shot by police and media misreported his role in the army.

Hoover, AL – A U.S. Army spokesperson has said that Emantic Fitzgerald Bradford Jr. never completed advanced individual training, which means he never served as a soldier in the army.

Bradford, 21, was fatally shot by police Thursday night while fleeing a shooting scene while "brandishing a handgun," according to police. After Hoover Police Department initially announced that Bradford was a gunman who shot an 18-year-old and 12-year-old victim, they later said the forensic evidence showed that Bradford likely did not shoot the 18-year-old.

They added that Bradford was likely involved in the altercation which led to the shooting, but did not provide any more details.

Media reports then stated that Bradford was a combat engineer in the U.S. Army, which is what his Facebook page lists as his occupation.

After the U.S. Army stated that he was never a soldier because he didn't complete AIT, an attorney for Bradford's family said that Bradford had received an honorable discharge, according to The Washington Post.

However, The New York Times says that he had received a general discharge, which is not an honorable discharge.

According to Fort Hood Sentinel, a general discharge could be “Under Honorable Conditions" if it was only for minor misconduct. This is not an honorable discharge.

A general discharge could also be “Under Other than Honorable Conditions" for major misconduct.

The initial shooting began just before 10 p.m., when an unidentified armed man began fighting with an 18-year-old male on the second level of the Riverchase Galleria mall, near JCPenney and Footaction, CNN reported.

It was unclear what led up to the physical altercation, which ended abruptly when the gunman shot the younger man twice in the torso.

A 12-year-old girl standing nearby was also hit by one of the bullets.

“We do not believe at this point the 18-year-old was armed,” Hoover Police Captain Gregg Rector told CNN at the time.

The department “already had multiple officers working at the mall for traffic control and police presence inside,” Capt. Rector told FOX News.

Bradford was fleeing the scene with a handgun when he was confronted by two uniformed Hoover police officers, The Birmingham News reported.

“One of our officers did engage that individual and shot him,” Hoover Police Chief Nick Dezris said. “He was dead on the scene.”

Both shooting victims were rushed to a local hospital, CNN reported.

The 12-year-old girl underwent surgery, and was listed in stable condition as of Friday morning.

“[She] does not have life-threatening injuries,” Capt. Rector said.

The 18-year-old man was listed in serious condition, according to police.

After the investigation started, it was determined that Bradford hadn't shot the male victim.

"Over the past 20 hours, Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office investigators and crime scene technicians have interviewed numerous individuals and examined several critical evidentiary items," the department said. "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."

"This information indicates that there is at least one gunman still at-large, who could be responsible for the shooting of the 18-year-old male and 12-year-old female," the department said. "We regret that our initial media release was not totally accurate, but new evidence indicates that it was not."

The mall was open late for customers who wanted to get an early start on their Black Friday shopping.

Terrified customers screamed and ran for cover as the gunfire broke out, and store employees rushed to get everyone to safety.

“People started screaming and going crazy just to get a way from it, and then cops ran by us with their guns drawn,” witness Debby Woods told WPEC.

Other shoppers drew their own concealed weapons, The Birmingham News reported.

“I just felt a rumbling,” Ryan Spann told WBMA. “Before we knew it, just an entire wave of people – I mean full sprint – I’ve never seen anything like it.”

“Everyone was just yelling to run,” Spann said. “It was just pure pandemonium.”

“They stuffed us in supply closets and locked the doors,” shopper Lexie Joyner said of the store employees, according to CNN. “They seemed prepared.”

After about 10 minutes, store employees helped Joyner and several others to escape the building through an emergency exit.

Out in the parking lot, tires squealed as people sped away from the gunfire, a witness told The Birmingham News.

Hoover police quickly secured a perimeter and methodically evacuated shoppers from the building.

“We have a plan and our plan works,” Chief Dezris told The Birmingham News.

The officer who shot Bradford has been placed on paid administrative leave pending the outcome of the officer-involved shooting investigation, which is being handled by the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office.

Comments (53)
No. 1-17
theresa3742
theresa3742

a DINDU LIAR.

LEO0301
LEO0301

Maybe he received his basic training in the south side of Chicago?

Burgers Allday
Burgers Allday

This is completely irrelevant as to whether it was a good shoot or a reckless homicide by police officer(s).

LordSeamus
LordSeamus

So he lied on his social media account, that is what we call "stolen valor". And of course, the media had to hype up this matter by NOT checking with the Army first, to see if they were spreading truth or lies....that's par for the course. I'd also say coming from where he did, he thought that he had enough "basic training" to pass anything the army could toss his way. Oh well.....hood basic isn't military basic.

Reefer54
Reefer54

ANOTHER entrant in the "GHETTO LOTTERY"

Lt Retired OCPD
Lt Retired OCPD

Reckless homicide???? Get your information straight before spouting off. As bad as the fake news.

b1rd
b1rd

While it sucks this guy ran with a gun and got shot sucks. I have to wonder why he was the only person with a gun that got shot though. This makes me think of @Hi_estComnDenomn. Stolen valor and all.

b1rd
b1rd

The only thing reckless around here is you. Actually no, not reckless. Just stupid. Reckless behavior can be fixed.

Shooter842
Shooter842

The fake soldier was DRT. (Dead Right There) Congratulations to the officers.

Wiredog
Wiredog

I’m assuming the majority of you senile fucks never joined the military or even took the steps to join so save your idiotic comments. How in the fuck was he never in the army if he got discharged? He didn’t finish AIT but he completed basic training where one becomes a soldier. I was in the schoolhouse and was so excited to be a marine that I put on my fb that I was a wireman before I completed the school. It’s a boot thing to do and a lot of boots do it. Now all of that shit is irrelevant as to why he was shot but this is articles header is clickbait as fuck.

Rob Reich
Rob Reich

When I was in Basic Training at Fort Jackson, SC there were a couple guys, who were discharged because they could not hack it, or just could not wrap their heads around the discipline and authority aspects of the military... Washed out...

So it is possible, that his general discharge could mean, he did NOT complete basic training and never attended his AIT program...

JBo
JBo

Why was he carrying a firearm in a mall that had has a policy prohibiting firearms? Not smart.

Jennifer.
Jennifer.

I’m confused so why are picking this poor deceased man apart? He didn’t shoot his gun that he had a permit to carry...he WAS in the army otherwise you can’t be discharged from something you aren’t in...so what does this solve? Trying to make him look like he deserved to me shot?!?!

Curtis Gomez
Curtis Gomez

My cousin had a General Discharge, he slept walked. I was wondering about that camo he had on, but a lot of people wear camo. I don't know why though anyone is focusing on that, if he was innocent and shot in the back, then justice needs to be served.

JLocke
JLocke

The standard response to a police shooting that looks to be a bad one on this site is "Let's wait for the facts." Notice they didn't wait? I'm guessing not a one of them retracted their comments in the form of saying they were wrong.

This is the stuff the Democrats uses against Republicans because of the trash that is allowed to represent "supporters of police." They're disgusting. Decent police supporters should be ashamed to have these people on their side.

LetGodSortItOut
LetGodSortItOut

I'm sure he was murdered by racist white police . For no reason whatsoever.

LetGodSortItOut
LetGodSortItOut

The police shouldve just let everyone flee the mall, not confronted anyone, and figured it out later.