Thousands of bargain hunters eager to get a jump on Black Friday sales were inside Alabama’s largest mall when a man was shot and killed by police after a violent fight at the shopping center Thanksgiving night.
The incident unfolded around 10 p.m. at the Riverchase Galleria in the Birmingham suburb of Hoover, near the Foot Action and JC Penney stores. Police said it started with an altercation between an 18-year-old and the 21-year-old gunman, which quickly escalated into violence.
It’s unclear what exactly started the confrontation, but authorities “do not believe at this point the 18-year-old was armed,” Hoover Police Capt. Gregg Rector told CNN.
The shooter opened firing, striking the teen twice in the torso, and then attempted to flee.
“One of our officers did engage that individual and shot him. He was dead on the scene,” Rector said.
“The Hoover police officer actually was running to the scene, he heard gunshots, he was obviously very near the scene, he actually shot and killed the person who injured another person.”
The injured teen was transported to UAE for treatment, where he remains in serious condition, according to authorities. A 12-year-old girl was also hurt in the shooting, thought it’s not clear at what point during the incident she was injured. She was transported to the Children’s Hospital of Alabama where she is in stable condition.
“She was alert and conscious and talking and maybe going to surgery,” Rector told Alabama.com.
Riverchase Galleria said in a late night statement Thursday it intended to remain closed “until further notice,” but security there said it reopened 6 a.m. Friday morning.
“We are devastated by the incident that happened tonight at our shopping center,” the statement reads. “We are working closely with the Hoover Police Department and are grateful for their swift action.”
With News Wire Services