Bradford's father, Emantic Bradford Sr., spoke to The Associated Press on Saturday night from his family's home.
Chaos erupted outside a mall in Riverside, Alabama, on Thanksgiving evening as a gunman opened fire and shot two people. Afterward, a police spokesperson confidently told reporters Bradford was the shooter behind the original incident and was brandishing a gun.
Police said while 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".
"He considers law enforcement to be family, but they are not treating him like family", Crump said of the senior Bradford.
Friends and family believe that Bradford Jr., the son of a police officer, was trying to intervene in the incident.
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".
Police said the error came to light after Jefferson County Sheriff's Office investigators and crime scene experts spoke to witnesses and examined evidence for 20 hours.
A Hoover police officer shot and killed Bradford, of Hueytown, Ala., as he fled the scene with a handgun in his possession.
An armed Hoover police officer who was working security at the mall then confronted an armed man running away from the scene and fatally shot him, authorities said. According to civil rights attorney, Ben Crump, Bradford had a license to carry.
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The unanswered questions surrounding the shooting have stirred emotions in the suburb of the majority-black city of Birmingham.
More than 200 demonstrators, including several relatives, chanted "E.J" and "no justice, no peace" as they marched past Christmas shoppers at the mall.
As seen in ABC 33/40′s live feed, these relatives described Bradford as the youngest member of a military family - the son of a United States marine who, as his great aunt put it, "chose country first, not a bullet". Video circulated on social media of Bradford lying in a pool of blood on the shopping centre floor.
Bradford's father called his son, "a good kid, a very good kid".
What happened at the mall?
His son knew members of the Hoover Police Department, according to Crump. "They shouldn't have done that".
"Where is the bodycam footage - why we ain't seen it yet?"
The shootings took place on Thanksgiving evening in the Riverchase Galleria in Birmingham, Alabama, as shoppers crowded stores looking for Black Friday bargains.
"Preliminary information gathered last night indicated that two individuals were involved in a physical altercation that led to a 21-year-old male shooting an 18-year-old male multiple times", Rector wrote, summarizing the original findings. The condition of the two victims has not been made public, but both were reportedly treated in hospital.
The Hoover Police Department is, however, conducting an internal investigation into Bradford's killing by the officer. That officer has been placed on administrative leave. His name has not been released. The officer was not hurt.