City Council Convenes, May Litigate Birmingham Mall Shooting

Hoover City Hall in Hoover AL after Nov 22 mall shooting
The Hoover City Council called a special meeting Tuesday, Nov. 27 to discuss potential “pending or threatening” litigation in the Nov. 22 Birmingham mall shooting that left one dead and two injured. Credit: Carol Robinson, AL.com

Hoover City Council public officials called a special meeting Tuesday to discuss the possibility of holding an executive session following the deadly Nov. 22 shooting inside an Alabama mall that killed one man and injured an 18-year-old man and a 12-year-old girl. Hoover is a suburb located south of Birmingham.

The AP has since reported that Hoover Police Captain Gregg Rector said investigators believe "at least one gunman" is still at large.

The council consulted with the city attorney to discuss "pending or threatening" litigation in the wake of the shooting at the Riverchase Galleria on Thanksgiving night, reported AL.com.

Specifically, City Council President Gene Smith consulted the city attorney about holding an executive session that would reportedly be closed to the public and the media.

On the night of the shooting, Hoover Police intercepted, shot and killed Emantic Fitzgerald Bradford, Jr., 21, after the police said he was responsible for firing shots that wounded the 18-year-old and the girl.

The Associated Press has since reported that the police retracted their statement, saying "it was unlikely that Bradford had done the shooting." However, Rector said Bradford may have been involved in the altercation.

In a statement issued Monday, police said Bradford had a gun in his hand "during the seconds following the gunshots, which instantly heightened the sense of threat to approaching police officers," the AP reported.

Carlos Chaverst and Le'Darius Hilliard showed up to let the council know they will continue to lead peaceful protests until they get some answers to the shooting.

Chaverst and Hilliard appear resolute.

"You know me," Chaverst said at the meeting. "We're going to continue doing what we're doing. We're going to continue our peaceful demonstrations of civil disobedience. If we have to shut down the entire city of Hoover, we will do that. And if we have to stop everybody in Hoover from spending another dime here, we will do that. We will do whatever we need to do to bring more attention, more awareness and more justice."

The attorney told the assembled that the potential for litigation fits appropriately within Alabama law. The State Bureau of Investigation, now handling the case, said it will not release any mall surveillance video from the incident while the investigation continues.

Protests since the shooting have taken place at the mall and city hall. A Tuesday night protest was planned to start at Hoover City Hall.

Both Chaverst and Hilliard expressed concern that the city allegedly has not contacted Bradford's family or released the videos for public scrutiny.

April Pipkins, Bradford's mother, told the AP she learned about her son's death on social media and that she had to call the coroner to confirm the worst. She and about 200 people attended a community vigil for Bradford Tuesday at the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham.

Bradford reportedly had an altercation with his 18-year-old friend about athletic shoes at the mall. The friend remains hospitalized, but the 12-year-old girl was released from the hospital Monday.

It's still unclear who exactly fired the shots that wounded both the survivors.

City Council Convenes, May Litigate Birmingham Mall Shooting | U.S.