Protests Planned, AG Rules Officer Justified For Shooting EJ Bradford In Mall

A report from Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall said an investigation determined the officer had acted reasonably.

Hoover, AL – State officials announced that an investigation had determined the officer-involved shooting of Emantic “EJ” Bradford Jr. on Thanksgiving night at the Riverchase Galleria was justified (video below).

Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall’s office conducted a two-month-long investigation of the incident that took place shortly before 10 p.m. on Nov. 22 when the mall opened up for early Black Friday sales.

The attorney general’s report does not name the involved officer, and instead refers to him as “Officer 1.”

“After an extensive investigation and review, the Attorney General has determined Officer 1 did not commit a crime under Alabama law when he shot and killed E.J. Bradford and thus the Alabama Rules of Professional Conduct preclude presentation of this case to a grand jury,” the report announced.

“The facts of this case demonstrate that Officer 1 reasonably exercised his official powers, duties, or functions when he shot [Bradford],” the report concluded.

The attorney general’s report said that two shootings occurred at the Riverchase Galleria that night.

First, Erron Brown shot 18-year-old Brian Wilson twice, and then a Hoover police officer responding to the gunfire fatally shot Bradford, after he spotted him running towards a crowd of people with his weapon drawn.

The two officers who were the first to respond had been nearby in the mall on routine patrol when the shots rang out, according to the report.

Hoover police initially believed Bradford had shot Wilson and heralded its officers as heroes who had stopped the mall shooter to the news media.

But they had to retract that statement shortly thereafter and explain what had actually happened.

Surveillance videos captured by J.C. Penney and FootAction stores inside the mall showed both shootings and helped investigators determine exactly what occurred on Thanksgiving night.

“Synchronizing these videos suggests the following chain of events, which spans approximately five seconds. Erron Brown shoots Brian Wilson, then along with his companions, runs into JC Penney,” the report explained. “E.J. Bradford initially runs in the opposite direction (away from JC Penney), creating a gap between himself and the gunshots. As he creates this gap, Bradford draws his weapon and chambers a round.”

“Bradford then charges back toward JC Penney, gun drawn. Officer 1 shoots Bradford as Bradford is running toward Brian Wilson (the gunshot victim), AC (who is assisting Wilson), Erron Brown (the initial shooter), and several innocent bystanders,” the report read.

The video showed that the two officers approached Bradford from the rear three seconds after the first gunshots were heard.

Then one officer opened fire and fatally shot Bradford.

The officer fired four rounds and three struck Bradford, according to the attorney general’s report.

In the video, Bradford was running with a pistol in his hand and fell as he was shot.

His pistol hit the floor and slid several feet away from him, the video showed.

“Me and [Officer 2] were standing over there. We heard two shots. And I turned around; we drew our guns. That guy [E.J. Bradford] was running toward them with a gun in his hand. I shot him,” the officer explained at the scene, according to the attorney general’s report.

An eyewitness to Bradford’s shooting told investigators that she had also believed Bradford had shot Wilson when the incident was occurring.

The eyewitness told police she was in fear for her life, and the lives of the officers and other people in the mall, according to the report.

The attorney general’s office determined that the officer acted reasonably when he shot Bradford, and did so in accordance with nationally-accepted standards for “active shooter” scenarios.

The fact that the officer was mistaken in believing Bradford to be the shooter at the time he shot him does not mean his actions were unreasonable, the attorney general’s report concluded.

“First, a reasonable person could have assumed that the only person with a gun who was running toward the victim of a shooting that occurred just three seconds earlier fired the shots,” the report said.

In fact, three other eyewitnesses told investigators they had also believed Bradford was the original shooter.

After the department retracted their statements, his associates spread the story of how he was an army veteran who drew his gun in self-defense.

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

The U.S. Army responded 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.

Protest organizers said they’re planning to rally supporters to take to the streets again on Wednesday, AL.com reported.

Demonstrators surrounded the Hoover mayor’s house during the protests immediately after the shooting.

You can see the video referred to in the attorney general’s report below:

Comments (27)
No. 1-12
ManBearPig
ManBearPig

Shoot a man in the back without even so much as a warning. Once again getting away with murder

Dmoe63
Dmoe63

Did you read the explanation? He was with the shooter, he had a gun. So in really easy terms. He and his friend went to the mall with guns. Through investigations they find out his friend who shot a guy fled the scene. His friend is to blame not the cop.

Just-My-Thoughts
Just-My-Thoughts

I wonder how Brian Wilson's family feels???
Don't you just love how they show pictures of shooters holding a bouquet of flowers, dressed up nice and spiffy like they're heading to church, giving puppies and kittens hugs n kiss'? He did the WRONG thing. He carried a gun into a mall with innocent people doing their shopping......... bummer..

JBo
JBo

Soooo, when do the protests start for Wilson getting shot by Brown?

HAWAIIBLUE
HAWAIIBLUE

Is it because he is black? That’s it’s such a big deal? I don’t hardly see anything about any other ethnicity doing stupid stuff that these individual black people do. Unfortunately it’s usually black people. And again, I’m not trying to sound racist and I am far from it. Just calling it like I see it, stating the facts and pattern here.

LEO0301
LEO0301

This is an example of our legal system working the way it should. Liberal prosecutors who hate the police should take note.

tfort
tfort

They killed an innocent man (again).

DarrellB
DarrellB

So first Leo's are wrong for not responding fast enough and taking down an active shooter. Then in the heat of an actual event, after training and clear policy, the Leo's presented with a clear picture shoot the person who presented himself as the immediate threat, but in liberal agenda speak, the Leo's are the criminals? I am so glad that actual justice prevailed here.

61mouse
61mouse

Let's see no matter what color of your skin , there's a shooting , and everyone is running and the person behind all of them running towards them has a gun in his hands .

johnnycab23513
johnnycab23513

He had fun clear of the scene of the original shooting. So far, so good. BUT, he then turns around, pulls his weapon, chambers a round, and runs back to the scene. He forfeited his right to a self defense when he ran back.

Gap Filler
Gap Filler

I completely disagree and am by no means a liberal! This man, a trained soldier, was responding towards the threat to engage when he was killed by a leo shot in the back. Bad news for any legal CCW person that may be responding to family in trouble that might be separated from them. I understand that law enforcement doesn't know who the good/bad guys are when people are running around with guns, but that still doesn't give you an inherent right to make a 5 second decision to take a man's life who hasn't fired a shot to your knowledge 3 times in the back. I know if a leo was in trouble I would come to their aid and there are several examples where ccw carriers have saved the lives of leo's that were in deep trouble. After an incident like this it sure makes one hesitant to draw your weapon to help anyone, even a leo in trouble before getting a signed waiver.

Trueferblue
Trueferblue

Be alive today if he stayed with shooting victim to face any further attempts rather than chase the perp.