November 29, 2018 / 6:50 PM / 14 days ago

Police arrest suspect in Black Friday shooting at Alabama mall

(Reuters) - Police in Georgia on Thursday arrested a suspect in a shooting that wounded two people at an Alabama mall and left another man dead after he was apparently mistaken for the gunman during Black Friday sales, federal officials said.

The case drew wide attention after police in Alabama said an officer had killed the gunman at the Riverchase Galleria near Birmingham, but then said the dead man was likely not to blame and that the actual shooter remained at large.

Erron Brown, 20, was taken into custody at a home in South Fulton, Georgia, a city about three hours east of Birmingham, according to police and the U.S. Marshals Service.

Brown will be charged with attempted murder and more charges were expected as the investigation continues, the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency said in a statement. An investigation into the shooting by the officer was also ongoing, it said.

There was chaos at the Riverchase Galleria last Thursday night when shots were fired, scattering shoppers who had been perusing the holiday sales.

An unidentified 12-year-old girl and an 18-year-old man named Brian Wilson were wounded, and then a uniformed Hoover Police Department officer shot and killed Emantic Bradford, 21, who was holding a handgun and who the officer believed was responsible for the shooting.

It was not immediately clear if the victims knew each other.

Gun rights advocates, including President Donald Trump, have suggested that having armed civilians in public places is an effective deterrent to crime. But police in Alabama on Monday said that Bradford, who was black, made the situation worse by drawing his gun.

Bradford’s death triggered a protest at the mall by activists, including the local chapter of Black Lives Matter. The officer who shot him has been placed on administrative leave pending the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency’s investigation.

Once Brown is extradited from Georgia he will be booked into the Jefferson County Jail in Birmingham and held on a $150,000 bond, the agency said.

Reporting by Gina Cherelus in New York; Editing by Dan Grebler and Sonya Hepinstall

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