A 21-year-old shot dead by police investigating an earlier shooting at a US shopping centre “likely did not fire the rounds” which injured a teenager.
Officers were called to a fight and shooting on Thanksgiving night at the Riverchase Galleria in Hoover, outside Birmingham, Alabama.
An 18-year-old was shot twice and a 12-year-old bystander was shot in the back.
An officer responding to the scene then shot and killed 21-year-old Emantic Fitzgerald Bradford, Jr. of Hueytown who police said was fleeing the scene and brandishing a weapon.
Police initially told reporters they thought Bradford had shot the teen after a fight but retracted that statement Friday night.
“New evidence now suggests that while Mr Bradford may have been involved in some aspect of the altercation, he likely did not fire the rounds that injured the 18-year-old victim,” Hoover Police Captain Gregg Rector said.
Police said they “regret that our initial media release was not totally accurate”.
Mr Rector said investigators now believe that more than two people were involved in the initial fight ahead of the shooting, and “this information indicates that there is at least one gunman still at-large, who could be responsible for the shooting of the 18-year-old male and 12-year-old female”.
The Alabama Law Enforcement Agency has taken the lead role in the investigation since it is an officer-involved shooting.
A witness, Lexi Joiner, told Al.com she was shopping with her mother when the gunfire started.
Ms Joiner said she heard six or seven shots and was ordered, along with some other shoppers, into a supply closet for cover.
“It was terrifying,” she said.
The officer who shot the gunman was placed on administrative leave while the authorities investigate the shooting.