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At least four in hospital after shooting at Alabama shopping mall

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An eight-year-old boy has been shot in the head during a shooting at an Alabama shopping mall which has left at least four victims in hospital. 

The little boy, known only as Royta, was struck by bullets when at least one gunman opened fire inside the Riverchase Galleria, Hoover, where he was out shopping with his family Friday afternoon.  

‘When we all got up, he was the only one who didn’t get up,’ Royta’s devastated mother told AL.com.  

Police confirmed at least four people were injured in the shooting and rushed to local hospitals for treatment. 

The conditions of Royta and the other three victims are unknown at this time.

Eight-year-old Royta (pictured) was shot in the head during a shooting at an Alabama shopping mall which has left at least four victims in hospital

Eight-year-old Royta (pictured) was shot in the head during a shooting at an Alabama shopping mall which has left at least four victims in hospital

Royta was out shopping with his family at the Riverchase Galleria in Hoover

Royta was out shopping with his family at the Riverchase Galleria in Hoover

Eight-year-old Royta (pictured) was shot in the head during a shooting at an Alabama shopping mall which has left at least four victims in hospital

The little boy, known only as Royta, was struck by bullets when at least one gunman opened fire inside the Riverchase Galleria, Hoover, (pictured) where he was out shopping with his family Friday afternoon

The little boy, known only as Royta, was struck by bullets when at least one gunman opened fire inside the Riverchase Galleria, Hoover, (pictured) where he was out shopping with his family Friday afternoon

 The little boy, known only as Royta, was struck by bullets when at least one gunman opened fire inside the Riverchase Galleria, Hoover, (pictured) where he was out shopping with his family Friday afternoon

Royta’s mother said she was shopping with her son, two other children and the boy’s stepfather when gunfire broke out.

She said they had been lining up to go into children’s clothing store Children’s Place because of COVID-19 safety precautions limiting the number of people inside at a time. 

‘We heard the gunshots and I grabbed them and we hit the ground,’ she said. 

The distraught mom said they got up when it was safe and that’s when she realized Royta had been shot: ‘He was the only one who didn’t get up.’   

‘That’s my baby, my firstborn,’ she said of the little boy, who has just finished the second grade at Jonesboro Elementary in Bessemer and has dreams of being a rapper. 

‘To the people who did this, if I could say anything to them, it’s I don’t care about justice or anything like that,’ she said.

‘I wouldn’t say I’m religious, I would say I’m more spiritual, and the person who did this is going to have to answer for that whether it’s to whoever they pray to or if it’s the streets.’  

Multiple shots were reported near the food court inside the Riverchase Galleria in Hoover, Hoover Police Capt. Gregg Rector said in a statement

Multiple shots were reported near the food court inside the Riverchase Galleria in Hoover, Hoover Police Capt. Gregg Rector said in a statement

Multiple shots were reported near the food court inside the Riverchase Galleria in Hoover, Hoover Police Capt. Gregg Rector said in a statement

At least four people were injured and rushed to local hospitals for treatment. The conditions of the victims are unknown at this time

At least four people were injured and rushed to local hospitals for treatment. The conditions of the victims are unknown at this time

At least four people were injured and rushed to local hospitals for treatment. The conditions of the victims are unknown at this time

A HISTORY OF VIOLENCE AT THE RIVERCHASE GALLERIA MALL, ALABAMA

November 22 2018 – Emantic ‘EJ’ Bradford Jr., a 21-year-old black man, is shot dead by a cop at the mall. 

Bradford Jr. was shot three times from behind on Thanksgiving after the cop allegedly mistook him for a gunman in an earlier shooting at the mall.

The victim had been holding a legally owned weapon at the time and had no connection to the earlier shooting incident. 

His killing sparked protests at the mall and the cop was condemned for racially profiling the black man.   

June 26 2019 – Zach Taylor Music, a 20-year-old UAB student, is shot and killed inside a vehicle on the top floor of the Riverchase Galleria parking deck. 

Michael Akamune, 20, was arrested and charged with murder over the shooting.   

July 7 2020 – At least four people are hospitalized after a shooting near the food court. 

No further details are yet known.  

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Multiple shots were reported near the food court inside the the state’s largest mall at around 3:18 p.m. local time Friday, Hoover Police Capt. Gregg Rector said in a statement. 

Police said they do not yet know what led to the shooting or how many gunmen were involved.

The mall was evacuated and police later said they had secured the scene.

Authorities have not said whether any arrests have been made but AL.com reported that a suspect has been taken into custody.

Annalisa Pope, who works at Hollister in the mall, told WBMA-TV in a telephone interview that she heard six to seven shots fired.

‘It wasn’t just one or two,’ she said. ‘That’s what got me off guard. They [the shots] just kept going.’

She said the gunshots ‘sounded like they were coming from every direction.’

She added: ‘It felt so close. It was so surreal. It doesn’t even feel real right now. 

‘You wouldn’t expect something like that to happen out of nowhere on a normal, Friday afternoon.’

Another witness told AL.com he was shopping with his mother at the Torrid clothing store in the mall when they heard shots fired.  

‘We were in the middle of talking to one of the staff members about one of the dresses and then there was a loud bang followed by at least five other small bangs,’ said Danno Allgrove, 28.

‘Immediately after the gunshots, the Torrid staff worked very quickly and efficiently to get everyone to the back of the store, to the emergency area, and they kind of kept everyone calm until they heard other people were being let out.’

Allgrove said they all escaped through the emergency exit once given the all-clear from authorities where they saw at least one victim – a child – lying in a pool of blood in front of The Children’s Place children’s store.  

‘There was an officer applying first aid and compress to stem the bleeding,’ he said. 

Hoover police asked anyone was in the mall who witnessed the shooting to call authorities. 

Riverchase Galleria released a statement on its Facebook page saying it was ‘heartbroken’ by the incident and that the mall will remain closed Saturday.

‘We are heartbroken by the tragic, senseless incident that took place in our shopping center this afternoon,’ they said. 

DailyMail.com has reached out to Hoover Police for comment.  

The mall in suburban Birmingham has been the site of at least two fatal shootings in recent years.

Emantic 'EJ' Bradford Jr., 21, was shot dead by a cop at the mall in 2018

Emantic 'EJ' Bradford Jr., 21, was shot dead by a cop at the mall in 2018

In June 2019, Zach Taylor Music, 20, (right) was shot and killed inside a vehicle on the top floor of the Riverchase Galleria parking deck

In June 2019, Zach Taylor Music, 20, (right) was shot and killed inside a vehicle on the top floor of the Riverchase Galleria parking deck

The mall in suburban Birmingham has been the site of at least two fatal shootings in recent years. In June 2019, Zach Taylor Music, 20, (right) was shot and killed inside a vehicle on the top floor of the Riverchase Galleria parking deck. Emantic ‘EJ’ Bradford Jr., 21, was shot dead by a cop at the mall in 2018 

In June 2019, Zach Taylor Music, a 20-year-old UAB student, was shot and killed inside a vehicle on the top floor of the Riverchase Galleria parking deck.   

Michael Akamune, 20, was arrested and charged with murder over the shooting. 

This came after the shopping center was the site of a 2018 police shooting when a cop shot dead black man 21-year-old Emantic ‘EJ’ Bradford Jr. 

Bradford Jr. was shot three times from behind on Thanksgiving after the cop allegedly mistook him for a gunman in an earlier shooting at the mall.

The victim had been holding a legally owned weapon at the time and had no connection to the earlier shooting incident. 

His killing sparked protests at the mall and the cop was condemned for racially profiling the black man.  

The Alabama attorney general’s office cleared the officer – who has never been named – saying he acted ‘reasonably under the circumstances’ in the encounter that spanned approximately five seconds.

DailyMail Online


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