Eight-year-old man killed and three gunshot wounded in Alabama mall

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HOOVER, ALA. – An eight-year-old boy was killed Friday in a shootout in an Alabama shopping center that left three others injured, police said. Hoover police chief Nick Derzis said the child was killed in the afternoon while shooting the Riverchase Galleria. The police chief said that a girl and two adults were also hospitalized after the shooting. Authorities have not released the names of the victims.

The police did not give a reason for the shooting. Derzis said the police were working on promising leads, but did not say whether they had identified suspects.

“It’s certainly a tragic situation when you have an innocent child who gets caught in the middle of an argument between others,” said Derzis.

Several shots were reported near the food court inside the mall, police said. “We do not know at this point what led to the shooting or how many gunmen were involved,” said police captain Gregg Rector in a previous press release.

Hoover mayor Frank Brocato said he visited the boy’s parents on Friday evening.

“It was just an insane tragedy and they are of course devastated by it,” said Brocato. He asked the townspeople to pray for the family.

The mall was evacuated after the shooting

Annalisa Pope, who works at Hollister in the mall, told WBMA-TV in a telephone interview that she heard six to seven shots.

“It wasn’t just one or two,” she said. “This is what caught me off guard. They (the shooting) continued. ”

She said the shots “seemed to come from all directions”.

Hoover police asked anyone in the mall who witnessed the shooting to call the authorities.

“It was so close,” she said. “It was so surreal. It doesn’t even seem real to me right now. You would not expect something like this to happen out of nowhere on a normal Friday afternoon. ”

The suburban shopping center in Birmingham was the site of a 2018 police shootout where an officer shot dead a black man after mistaking him for the shooter in a previous shootout in the center commercial.

The shooting of Emantic “EJ” Bradford Jr., 21, sparked protests at the mall. The Alabama Attorney General’s office whitewashed the officer, saying he had acted “reasonably under the circumstances” during the meeting, which lasted approximately five seconds.

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