Attorney for mall shooting suspect says video will clear him
An attorney for Erron Martez DeQuan Brown, the man accused of carrying out a shooting at an Alabama mall that led police to kill another man, said Wednesday that video of the incident would clear his client.
“We believe that when the video is shown, not necessarily the body cam but the video from the mall, we believe it will show very clearly that Erron Brown was not the instigator of this,” attorney Charles Salvagio said.
A judge in Jefferson County, Alabama, has granted a motion to release evidence to Salvagio, including video of the Thanksgiving night shooting.
Salvagio said that the shooting was not random and that the people involved knew each other. He declined to provide further details but said Brown was not guilty.
“This could have happened anywhere. Somebody wanted it to happen at the Galleria,” he said. “This was not a random thing.”
Brown, 20, was arrested last week in Fairburn, Georgia, and faces one count of attempted murder in a shooting at the Riverchase Galleria Mall in Hoover, Alabama, a suburb of Birmingham. He agreed to waive his right to fight extradition to Alabama in court on Friday.
Authorities say they believe Brown shot 18-year-old Brian Xavier Wilson at the mall on Thanksgiving night before fleeing. Wilson and a 12-year-old girl who was hit by a stray bullet are recovering from their injuries.
Moments after the shooting, a Hoover police officer working security at the mall shot and killed a different man — Emantic Bradford Jr., a 21-year-old from nearby Hueytown.
Over the past week, Hoover police have repeatedly changed their story about why Bradford was shot. Officials initially called Bradford a suspect who was shot after he “brandished” a gun. But police later said Bradford was not the primary suspect in the shooting, and also hedged on whether or not he had actually brandished a gun.
The case has been turned over to the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency (ALEA), which said last week that it will “not release information concerning pending criminal investigations.”
Bradford’s family and their attorney, Benjamin Crump, allege the police officer wrongfully shot him and did so without warning. Bradford had a concealed-weapon permit, they said.
Crump said he believes the officer who killed “EJ” — one of Bradford’s nicknames — rushed to judgment because of Bradford’s race.
“(The officer) saw a black man with a gun and he made his determination that he must be a criminal,” Crump said.
The Hoover officer who was working as security at the mall when he killed Bradford is on administrative leave, pending the outcome of the investigation. He has not been charged with any wrongdoing.
Brown’s family, speaking Wednesday, said they believe that his name will be cleared when all the facts come out.
“I believe that Erron Brown is not the monster that has been presented by the media,” said Pastor Frederick Smith, a spokesperson for the family.