Police said an eight-year-old boy was killed in a shooting at a shopping mall in Alabama, wounding three other people.
Hoover Police Chief Nick Derzes said the boy was killed in the afternoon in the Riverchase Galleria shooting. The police chief said that after the shooting, a girl and two adults were taken to hospital. The authorities have not released the names of the victims.
Police did not say any motive for the shooting. Derzes said police were working on promising leads, but did not say whether they had identified the suspects.
“This is definitely a tragic situation when you have an innocent child caught in the middle of a quarrel among others,” Derzes said.
Police said multiple shots were reported near the food court inside the mall. Police Captain Greg Rector said in a previous press release, “We do not know at this point what led to the shooting or the number of gunmen involved.”
Hoover Mayor Frank Procato said he visited the boy’s parents Friday evening.
“This was just a pointless tragedy and of course it destroyed them,” said Procato. He asked the townspeople to pray for the family.
The mall was evacuated after the shooting
Analisa Pope, who works in Hollister at the mall, said she heard six to seven gunshots.
“It wasn’t just one or two,” she said. “This is what made me by surprise. They (shots) kept advancing.”
She said the gunfire “appeared to be coming from every direction.”
Hoover Police have asked anyone who has been in the mall who witnessed the shooting to contact the authorities.
She said, “It felt very close.” “It was very surreal. It doesn’t look real now. Don’t expect something like this to happen out of nowhere on Friday afternoon.”
The mall in the suburbs of Birmingham was the site of a police shooting in 2018 where an officer shot a black man with a pistol after he assumed he was the gunman in a previous shooting at the mall.
The shooting of your faith “EJ” Bradford Jr., 21, sparked a series of protests in the mall. The Alabama District Attorney’s office acquitted the officer, saying he had acted “reasonably well under the circumstances” in the standoff that lasted about five seconds.