Nov. 29 (UPI) — Law enforcement officials on Thursday arrested the suspect in a shooting at an Alabama mall on Thanksgiving Day in which police shot and killed a man they mistakenly believed to be the gunman.
U.S. Marshals arrested Erron Martez Dequan Brown, 20, at a relative’s home in Fairburn, Ga., near Atlanta. He faces an attempted murder charge for shooting 18-year-old Brian Wilson at the Riverchase Galleria Mall in the Birmingham suburb of Hoover, Ala., on Nov. 22.
The shooting was a result of an altercation between Brown and Wilson in which the former allegedly shot the victim in the stomach.
Two officers at the mall responded to the gunfire and when they arrived at the scene, saw Emantic “EJ” Bradford Jr., 21 allegedly holding a gun. They shot Bradford, believing him to be the suspect, and killed him.
A 12-year-old girl also was shot in the confrontation, though police have not said who was responsible for her injuries.
Though police initially said Bradford fired the rounds that injured Wilson and the girl, after more interviews and investigation, they said Friday night it was unlikely he was the shooter.
“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.
Hoover police officials did not release the name of the officer who fatally shot Bradford, but said he was placed on administrative leave while an internal investigation is conducted.
Bradford’s death sparked protests over the officers’ alleged excessive use of force, with family members saying the man had a license to carry the gun he held.
The Alabama Law Enforcement Agency said Brown would be extradited to the Jefferson County Jail in Birmingham and will likely be held on $150,000 bond.