Grand Jury to Decide Fate of Man Charged in Mall Shooting

Sherrel Wheeler Stewart, WBHM

Erron Brown appears in a Jefferson County Court for preliminary hearing.

Jefferson County District Judge William Bell Jr. sent the case of Erron Brown to a grand jury following a Thursday preliminary hearing. Brown is charged with attempted murder in the Galleria mall shooting that injured two people on Thanksgiving.

The case drew national attention after police fatally shot 21-year-old Emantic “EJ” Bradford Jr., believing he was the gunman.

Prosecutors said bullets from Brown’s gun struck Brian Wilson in the chest and abdomen that night at the mall. Another of Brown’s bullets remains lodged in a 12-year-old girl, who was also wounded in the shooting.

Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall took over the case in December. His office is handling the investigation into Bradford’s shooting and the case involving Brown.

Brown’s lawyer, Charles Salvagio, said his client was acting in self-defense when he fired a .40 caliber pistol at Wilson.

“Brian Wilson walked up, slapped him, punched him more than once, then Erron fired,” Salvagio said.

 At some point before the shooting, Salvagio said, Wilson and Brown had a disagreement.

Roosevelt Poole provided witness testimony at Thursday’s hearing. He was with Brown at the mall. He said Bradford was with Wilson. Bradford texted Poole to ask where he and Brown were in the mall, according to Poole.

“They contacted Roosevelt Poole, and then came up there and all hell broke loose,” Salvagio said.

The fight and the shooting happened on the second floor of the mall near Foot Action and JC Penney.

Poole said Bradford walked up and shook Poole’s hand. That’s when Wilson began punching Brown.

Poole, Erron Brown and another friend fled the mall after shots were fired. Brown’s friend testified that Brown was nervous after shooting Wilson and said, “I think I killed him.”

Poole said almost two days later someone fired several rounds into the house where he and Brown lived.

Salvagio said Brown fled to Georgia to stay with a relative for a few days and did not tell his relative about his trouble in Birmingham. U.S. Marshals arrested Brown in Georgia on Nov. 29. Pete Acosta of the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency testified that the gun Brown used in the shooting was found with his clothes in Georgia.

Thursday, the Judge Bell reduced Brown’s bond to $60,000. Bell said Brown must wear a monitor if he bonds out of jail.

Salvagio said surveillance tapes show Bradford waving a gun.

More Emantic Bradford Jr. Coverage

Bradford Family Files Wrongful Death Lawsuit

The family of Emantic “EJ” Bradford Jr., a young black man killed by a Hoover police officer a year ago, filed a federal civil rights lawsuit Friday over his death. Attorneys for the family allege the officer did not follow proper procedure.

Questions Loom One Year After Hoover Mall Shooting

The police killing of 21-year-old Emantic “EJ” Bradford Jr. happened a year ago at the Riverchase Galleria Mall after officers wrongly thought he was the shooter. Alabama’s Attorney General cleared the Hoover police officer of any criminal wrongdoing and so did the Department of Justice. But a lot of questions remain unanswered.

Family of Emantic Bradford Jr. Renews Calls for Transparency

The family of a man killed by police in a Thanksgiving mall shooting wants authorities to release all video footage and the name of the officer involved.

What the DOJ Review Could Mean for Bradford Shooting Investigation

The U.S. Department of Justice is reviewing the case of the Hoover police officer who shot and killed 21-year-old Emantic "EJ" Bradford Jr. on Thanksgiving. To help us unpack this, we turned to former U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Alabama Joyce White Vance.

Officials Won’t Name Hoover Officer Involved in Shooting. Why Not?

Officials still have not released the name of the police officer who shot and killed a 21-year-old black man at the Riverchase Galleria mall. The attorney general cleared the officer of any wrongdoing. Should authorities release his name?

Protests Move To Montgomery, Hoover Mayor Speaks Out

Hoover Mayor Frank Brocato says the city plans to defend the unidentified officer who shot and killed Emantic Bradford Jr. in any future civil litigation. Meanwhile, outraged protesters demonstrate outside of the state attorney general's office in Montgomery.

More Emantic Bradford Jr. Coverage