Mall Shooter Must Face Murder Charges
By: Donald V. Watkins
©Copyrighted and Published on November 29, 2018
A man suspected of Thanksgiving night's shooting at the Galleria Mall in Hoover, Alabama has been arrested. Erron Brown was arrested this morning by U.S. Marshals in Atlanta and brought back to Birmingham, Alabama. Brown is accused of seriously wounding an 18-year-old man and 12-year-old child during his shooting spree at the Mall.
Hoover police officers were patrolling the Mall when they heard gunshots and rushed toward the “active shooter” scene in an attempt to save innocent lives. There, they encountered Emantic “E.J.” Bradford, Jr., who was armed. They mistakenly believed Mr. Bradford was the shooter. In the heat of the moment, one of the officers fatally shot Mr. Bradford.
Meanwhile, Erron Brown fled the crime scene, along with other Mall patrons.
Brown’s alleged actions that night set in motion a series of horrific events. First, his gunshots disrupted a festive holiday shopping tradition in a crowded mall. Second, they caused severe gunshot wounds to two people. Third, they caused fleeing patrons to injure themselves while escaping the danger.
Lastly, Brown's gunshots caused a police officer to draw his/her gun and shoot Mr. Bradford in the mistaken belief that the officer was saving lives. This mistake cost Bradford his life.
The officer may have fired the bullets that entered Mr. Bradford's body, but suspect Brown caused his death. If he is indeed the shooter, Erron Brown had to know that serious bodily injury or death could resulted from his gunshots that night. From a criminal justice standpoint, Brown, alone, is responsible for Emantic Bradford’s death.
Newly elected Jefferson County District Attorney Danny Carr must charge Erron Brown with the first degree murder of Mr. Bradford, along with the litany of felony charges for every mall patron who was injured in the shooting and/or fleeing.
While the City of Hoover may have some legal exposure in a civil lawsuit for the wrongful death of Mr. Bradford, the officer who shot him should not be charged with any crime.
We should never, ever send the message as a law-abiding community that police officers who risk their lives by rushing into an “active shooter” scene to save innocent lives may face criminal charges if they mistakenly shoot the wrong person.
Mistakes happen in chaotic situations where quick action is required to save lives. Police officers must make spur-of-the-moment, life or death decisions in extremely dangerous situations. Most of the time, these officers make the right judgments when they encounter shooting suspects. Unfortunately, this judgment was wrong in Mr. Bradford’s case.
The man responsible for Mr. Bradford’s death is the shooter who started this tragic chain of events. He must be punished severely.
Mr. Danny Carr, do your job. Prosecute this shooter for first degree murder.
PHOTO: Erron Brown, the alleged Galleria Mall shooter has been arrested.