Two police officers in Alabama are in hot water after admitting that the criminal suspect whom they shot and killed during a pursuit on Thursday might not have been the right guy.
According to RT, officers with the Hoover Police Department released a statement claiming that they had "engaged, shot and killed" the 21-year-old suspect in a mall shooting that left an 18-year-old man and a 12-year-old girl wounded on the night of Thanksgiving.
Police believed that the suspect, Emantic Fitzgerald Bradford, was involved in a shooting at the Riverchase Galleria, a mall in the Birmingham suburb of Hoover, at around 9:30 pm on Thursday. Both of the victims suffered gunshot wounds, but are expected to survive.
As the officers responded to the incident, witnesses said they had seen Bradford fleeing from the scene with a handgun. Officers tracked down Bradford and engaged him in what turned out to be a fatal encounter. However, after 20 hours of investigation into the incident, police now believe that Bradford was "likely" not the gunman who fired the shots that struck the initial victims - though they still believe he was involved in the incident "in some aspect." Police now say there were likely two gunmen involved in the shooting.
In an apology that we imagine the victim's family members will find immediately reassuring, the officers involved said they "regret" that their initial statement about the shooting was "not accurate", and that they "remain committed to maintaining the integrity" of the investigation.
"We regret that our initial media release was not totally accurate, but new evidence indicates that it was not," police officials said in a statement.
Media reports are claiming that the officer who killed Bradford has been placed on administrative leave, according to NBC.
They are asking anybody with information about the identity of the real shooter to come forward.