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  • Alex Nelson

Safety Concerns Grow in Hoover Over Shootings at The Riverchase Galleria Mall

On February 19, 1986, the largest enclosed shopping center in Alabama opened in Jefferson County. A stone’s throw from Birmingham, the Riverchase Galleria opened in the barely 20 years old suburb of Hoover. For 34 years, the Galleria has served as a shopping destination and tourist attraction for bargain hunters and fashion lovers all over the state and the southeastern region. Each year, the mall becomes the center of the college football world, as the SEC holds its preseason media event at the Hyatt Regency Birmingham- The Wynfrey Hotel, which is located inside the mall.

The Galleria has been a shining star for many over the years but has faced safety challenges in recent years. In less than two years, the Riverchase Galleria has been the site of three tragic shootings. Two of which caused innocent children to be struck by stray bullets.

On November 22, 2018, 21-year-old Emantic “EJ” Bradford was killed by a Hoover Police Officer after being involved in an altercation that ended in shots being fired and resulted in a 12-year-old girl being wounded by a bullet that lodged near her spine.

Tragically, the child shot on July 3rd wasn’t so lucky…

Eight-year-old Royta Giles was killed in the Riverchase Galleria. A midday altercation in the mall, again, led to gunfire. Reports said that two adults and an adolescent girl were also hospitalized as a result of the incident.

The third shooting took place in June of 2019 that fatally wounded 20-year-old UAB student Zachariah Taylor Music.

There have been three shootings in 20 months at the Riverchase Galleria Mall, and many are starting to question what, if anything, the mall and the City of Hoover has done to ensure public safety.

As safety concerns continue to increase at the Galleria, many are wondering what, if anything, can be done to keep history from repeating itself.

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