Greg Capers, the Indianola, Miss., police officer who shot 11-year-old Aderrien Murry “did not mean to shoot the child,” his lawyer said in a statement which The Delta News first reported yesterday.
The officer shot Murry in the chest at his home on May 20 while responding to a 911 call the boy had placed about a domestic disturbance after his mother’s ex-boyfriend showed up at the house in the early morning hours. The boy survived after spending five days in the hospital for a collapsed lung, fractured ribs and a lacerated liver. The officer has not been charged with a crime.
In the statement, Capers’ attorney Michael Carr said that “Sgt Capers is glad that the child is recovering and is very sorry that this happened.”
The statement is the first time the public has heard from Capers since the shooting. The Murry family’s attorney, Carlos Moore, said in May that when the responding officers arrived, the boy’s mother Nakala Murry opened the door and told them that her ex-boyfriend “was running out of the back of the house and did not have a gun.”
“Then (the officer) sticks his head in the door and says, ‘If there is anyone else in the house, come on out with your hands up.’ Being obedient, Aderrien Murry heard the command and came out with his hands up,” the Murrys’ attorney told members of the press last month. “And seconds later after leaving his room and turning a corner into the living room, he was shot in the chest by Greg Capers.”
This morning, Moore told the Mississippi Free Press that, even if the shooting was not intentional, the family believes Capers’ actions were “reckless.”
“We’ve never said that (his actions) were intentional, but we know without a shadow of a doubt that they were reckless, and because the actions were reckless, the criminal statute says he can be held accountable for aggravated assault,” Murry’s attorney said. But Carr told ABC News yesterday that though the shooting was “a pure accident,” Capers’ actions were “not reckless.”
The Mississippi Bureau of Investigations, which is investigating the shooting, has not released the bodycam footage.
“Body camera footage, once released by MBI, will fully and finally clarify what happened,” Carr said in yesterday’s statement.
Last week, Nakala Murry filed a criminal affidavit against Capers to push the county prosecutor to act, but no charges have been filed against the officer to date. Murray’s family also filed a $5 million lawsuit against Capers, the City of Indianola and Indianola Police Chief Ronald Sampson late last month. Moore told the Mississippi Free Press this morning that, with Capers’ apology, “the City of Indianola needs to do the right thing and not draw out this litigation.”
“They need to make this family whole. They have suffered enough,” he said.
After the shooting, the Indianola Board of Aldermen initially voted on May 22 to place Capers on paid administrative leave. Then, on Monday, June 12, the board voted 4-1 to suspend him without pay.
Wednesday’s statement said that Carr said “Capers wasn’t given due process by the city board that voted to suspend him and that Capers found out about the suspension without pay on social media.”
“Despite not having an opportunity to be heard, Carr said the City’s decision to change the suspension from with pay to without pay is merely a cost-saving measure by the City as part of an administrative process which has nothing to do with the facts of the criminal allegation by the mother of the child,” the statement said. “Sgt. Capers is glad that Indianola can use his salary to hire another officer or pay someone overtime to ensure full police protection for citizens while he goes through the investigative process as required by MBI.”
Moore told the Mississippi Free Press this morning that he and the Murry family are “pleased that (Capers) was recently suspended without pay.”
“His paid vacation is over. But we are not satisfied, we will not rest until he is terminated and never allowed to be a law enforcement officer again anywhere in this nation,” the attorney said. “As far as due process, Aderrien Murry would have appreciated due process because he was almost executed by Greg Capers. What’s good for the goose is good for the gander.”