8-year-old boy killed, 3 injured in Alabama mall shooting

by Muizat Hameed

An 8-year-old boy has been killed and three other people injured on Friday during shooting at an Alabama shopping mall.

Reports gathered that the boy was killed in the afternoon shooting at the Riverchase Galleria, while two adults and a girl have been hospitalized due to the shooting.

The 8 year old victim, Royta Giles, was a third grader at Jonesboro Elementary School and he was described as “a smart child, who was a jewel, with big dreams of someday entering the music industry.”

“He was bright, articulate, and very convincing. We even tried to convince him to become a lawyer,” former assistant principal Van James said in the school system statement.

Hoover Mayor Frank Brocato said he visited with the boy’s parents Friday evening.

“This was just a very senseless tragedy and of course they are devastated by this,” Brocato said. He asked residents in the city to pray for the family.

Police did not give a motive for the shooting near the food court inside the mall. Derzis said police are working promising leads, but did not say if they had identified suspects.

“We don’t know at this point what led to the shooting or how many gunmen were involved,” police Capt. Gregg Rector said in an earlier news release.

“Multiple shots were reported fire,” police said.

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

The mall in suburban Birmingham was the site of a 2018 police shooting where an officer fatally shot a Black man with a gun after mistaking him for the gunman in an earlier shooting at the mall.

The shooting of 21-year-old Emantic “EJ” Bradford Jr. prompted a series of protests at the mall. The Alabama attorney general’s office cleared the officer, saying he acted “reasonably under the circumstances” in the encounter that spanned approximately five seconds.

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