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BPD advises on active shooter incidents

November 28, 2018

Following the fatal police shooting of a legally armed man in an Alabama mall during the Thanksgiving holidays, the Brownsville Police Department held a press conference outside of the Sunrise Mall on Monday to address active shooting incidents.

“We pretty much want to address licensed to carry firearms individuals when faced with engaging an active shooter,” Brownsville Police Department Spokeswoman Melissa Gonzalez said. “It’s a personal decision to engage an active shooter or not.”

On Thanksgiving night, that may have been a decision Emantic “EJ” Bradford Jr. faced when a fight broke out at the Riverchase Galleria Mall in Hoover, Ala., when an off-duty Hoover Police Department officer responding to the skirmish that resulted in a 12-year-old bystander and another being wounded by gunfire shot and killed Bradford, who had a permit to legally carry a weapon, according to news reports.

That police department initially claimed Bradford, who was black, was the shooter, but later retracted the statement saying while Bradford brandished a gun, he wasn’t the shooter, angering the man’s family and resulting in protests by community members.

While Gonzalez said the department is thankful the City of Brownsville hasn’t faced an active shooter incident, she said the police department does want individuals who are licensed to carry firearms here to have a plan.

“It’s a personal decision to engage an active shooter or not,” Gonzalez said. “A person carrying a weapon needs a plan of action. If they decide to engage, they need to commit.”

People should also need to understand the serious consequences of deciding to engage an active shooter.

“They need to be prepared to severely or lethally injure and after the incident, they need to make sure they comply with all verbal commands (from police),” Gonzalez said.

She said someone who finds themselves in an active shooter situation should holster their weapon when police arrive and make their hands visible.

“We really wanted to get that message out there,” Gonzalez said. “We want the community to be prepared should something like that happen.”

mreagan@brownsvilleherald.com

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