“It wasn’t just one or two,” Pope said. “That’s what got me off guard. They (the shots) just kept going.”
“It felt so close,” she said. “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.”
The mall was evacuated after the shooting.
Hoover police asked anyone was in the mall who witnessed the shooting to call authorities.
“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.
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.