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An 8-Year-Old Boy Was Killed In A Mall Shooting In Alabama

Three others are wounded in the shooting at Riverchase Galleria mall.

Posted on July 3, 2020, at 10:32 p.m. ET


Riverchase Galleria mall in Hoover, Alabama.

An 8-year-old boy was shot and killed when someone opened fire at a mall in Hoover, Alabama, on Friday.

The Hoover Police Department said officers were called to the scene at the food court of Riverchase Galleria mall around 3:18 p.m. where there were multiple victims.

"I'm extremely saddened to report that an 8-year-old male victim was pronounced deceased shortly after arriving at Children's Hospital," Hoover Police Chief Nicholas Derzis said at a news conference.

Derzis did not release the name of the child, but reported his name was Royta.

This is 8-year-old Royta who was shot at the Riverchase Galleria today. I just spoke with his mother.

The boy's mother told that she, her three children, and their stepfather were waiting in line at Children's Place when someone opened fire.

“We heard the gunshots and I grabbed them and we hit the ground,‘' she told “When we all got up, he was the only one who didn’t get up.”

Derzis said three other victims were taken to the hospital — an adult male, an adult female, and a juvenile female — but their conditions weren't immediately known. As of now, there were no immediate reports of suspects or arrests, but Derzis said the department is "making progress."

Hoover Mayor Frank V. Brocato said he visited with the parents of the deceased boy.

"Of course they are devastated by this, and I want to ask all of the citizens of Hoover and the metropolitan area to pray for this family. Keep them in your prayers," he said.

Local station WVTM reported the mall remains closed as police investigate.

"We are heartbroken by the tragic, senseless incident that took place in our shopping center this afternoon," the mall said in a statement. "Riverchase Galleria was evacuated immediately and will remain closed while the Hoover Police Department conducts their investigation."

The incident in Hoover is one of at least three shootings at malls across the country on Friday. A 15-year-old girl was injured at a shooting at South Shore Plaza in Braintree, Massachusetts, and police are investigating reports of shots fired at Beachwood Place in Beachwood, Ohio.

A BuzzFeed News investigation, in partnership with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, based on thousands of documents the government didn't want you to see.