AG rules Hoover Police officer justified in fatal Thanksgiving Galleria mall shooting


    (Courtesy Bradford Family)<p>{/p}

    The fatal shooting of E.J. Bradford by a Hoover Police Officer was "justified and not criminal," state officials announced Tuesday.

    E.J. Bradford was fatally shot last Thanksgiving at the Riverchase Galleria by a uniformed Hoover police officer working security for the mall. The officer was responding to reports of shots fired at the mall and authorities inaccurately identified Bradford as the shooting suspect that left 18-year-old Brian Wilson and a 12-year-old girl injured.

    According to the Attorney General's report, Bradford's shooting happened "approximately five seconds" after the initial gunshots. The officer mistakenly believed Bradford fired the shots and "shot and killed Emantic (“E.J.”) Bradford, Jr., a 21-year-old male who was running toward the initial shooter and victim with a firearm visibly in hand."

    "Several persons were in Bradford’s path," the report continues and "Officer 1 identified E.J. Bradford as an immediate deadly threat to innocent civilians and thus shot Bradford to eliminate the threat."

    An autopsy found that Bradford was shot 3 times by the unidentified officer: Once in the head, neck and back. The report states "Officer 1 stated that he did not give any commands due to the imminent nature of the threat, and the brevity of the event (less than five seconds) lends credibility to his recollection. On the other hand, Eyewitnesses 1 and 2 both stated that they heard such commands, and the credibility of their statements is enhanced by the consistency of their recollection that three commands were given. Regardless of which recollection is correct, the reasonableness of Officer 1’s assessment of risk does not change."

    The Attorney General concluded "Officer 1 reasonably exercised his official duties, powers, or functions when he shot E.J. Bradford on the night of November 22, 2018. Accordingly, Alabama law declares his action 'justified and not criminal.' Because Officer 1 did not commit a crime under Alabama law, Rule 3.8(1)(a) of the Alabama Rules of Professional Conduct dictates that the Attorney General “shall refrain” from seeking criminal charges against Officer 1."

    At a news conference following the ruling, E.J. Bradford's mother said "Attorney I want to know if that was your child....would you consider this justice? Would anybody consider this justice? You shoot my child three times and y'all call that justice?"

    Bradford's lawyer, Benjamin Crump, says a wrongful death lawsuit will be filed.

    In addition to the ruling, the Attorney General's office released the video.

    A suspect in the shooting, 20-year-old Erron Brown, was later taken into custody in Fulton County, Georgia.

    WATCH: EJ Bradford family speaks after AG rules Hoover Police Officer justified in Galleria Mall Shooting

    Below is the full ruling:

    This is a breaking news story and will be updated throughout the day.

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