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Alabama police say man killed by officer wasn't gunman in mall shooting

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By Alex Dobuzinskis

(Reuters) – A man shot to death by police during Black Friday sales at an Alabama shopping mall was likely not the gunman in a shooting there that wounded two people, as authorities previously said, and police said at least one suspect remains at large.

Police said Emantic Bradford, 21, was holding a handgun when he was killed by an officer who believed he was responsible for an incident on Thursday night in which a 12-year-old girl and 18-year-old man were shot at the Riverchase Galleria in the Birmingham suburb of Hoover.

Late on Friday, the Hoover Police Department said their initial account was mistaken.

“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,” the police department said in a statement.

“This information indicates that there is at least one gunman still at large. … We regret that our initial media release was not totally accurate, but new evidence indicates that it was not.”

A representative for the Hoover Police Department did not respond to a phone call or email for comment on Saturday.

According to local media reports, Bradford, an African-American man from the nearby suburb of Hueytown, served with the U.S. Army and was on home leave for Thanksgiving.

A crowd gathered outside the mall on Saturday afternoon to protest his death, holding signs that said “Black Lives Matter” and “Stop Police Killings,” local TV station abc3340 reported.

The officer who shot Bradford was placed on administrative leave pending the outcome of an investigation by the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency, authorities said.

A spokesman for the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency said it was due to issue a statement on Sunday afternoon.

(Reporting by Alex Dobuzinskis in Los Angeles; Additional reporting by Gabriella Borter in New York; Editing by Leslie Adler and Marguerita Choy)

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