An 8-year-old boy was killed Friday in a shooting at an Alabama shopping mall that left three other people injured, police said. Hoover Police Chief Nick Derzis said the child was killed in the afternoon shooting at the Riverchase Galleria, per the AP. The police chief said a girl and two adults were also hospitalized after the shooting. Authorities didn't release the victims' names, and police didn't give a motive for the shooting. Derzis said police are working promising leads, but he didn't say if they had identified suspects. "This is certainly a tragic situation when you have an innocent child who gets caught in the middle of an altercation between others," Derzis said. Multiple shots were reported near the food court inside the mall, police said. The mall was evacuated after the shooting.
"We don't know at this point what led to the shooting or how many gunmen were involved," Police Capt. Gregg Rector said earlier. 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. 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. "[The shots] just kept going." She added that the gunshots "sounded like they were coming from every direction." Hoover police are asking anyone who was in the mall and 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 21-year-old, Emantic "EJ" Bradford Jr., with a gun after mistaking him for the gunman in an earlier shooting at the mall.
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