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Mississippi Police Sergeant Who Shot 11-Year-Old Boy At Domestic Violence Call Put On Unpaid Leave

Indianola, MS – The Indianola police sergeant who shot an 11-year-old boy in the chest during an investigation into a domestic violence incident last month has been suspended without pay.

Indianola Police Department (IPD) Sergeant Greg Capers was placed on unpaid leave by the Indianola Board of Aldermen in a 4-1 vote on June 12, NBC News reported.

The board said the suspension was “effective immediately.”

The aldermen previously placed Sgt. Capers on paid administrative leave on May 22 while the Mississippi Bureau of Investigation (MBI) looked into the incident, according to the Mississippi Free Press.

Michael Carr, the attorney representing the police sergeant, said the vote took place during a “closed-door, unnoticed” board meeting without any advance notice to him or Sgt. Capers, the Associated Press reported.

Carr said Sgt. Capers learned about his unpaid suspension on social media, according to WATN.

“This is very disturbing to Sgt. Capers, and he should have been allowed due process,” Carr told the Associated Press. “They have no evidence Sgt. Capers intentionally shot this young man, which he didn’t. Everything that happened was a total and complete accident.”

He said Sgt. Capers’ bodycam video of the incident will prove he didn’t do anything wrong.

“I thank God that Sgt. Capers was wearing a bodycam,” the attorney told the Associated Press.

Sgt. Capers was named Officer of the Year in 2021, WATN reported.

He had no prior complaints against him and had never previously fired his weapon in the line of duty, according to his attorney.

“Officer Capers responded to an awful domestic situation and he knew the child, he didn’t want to hurt him,” Carr told WATN.

The city, Sgt. Capers, and IPD Chief Ronald Sampson are also facing a $5 million civil rights lawsuit in connection with the incident, NBC News reported.

It is still unclear whether the police sergeant will face criminal charges.

The series of events leading up to the shooting began at approximately 4 a.m. on May 20, when the father of one of Nakala Murry’s children showed up at her home, FOX News reported.

Murry said the man knocked on a window of her residence and appeared “irate,” according to the news outlet.

She said she was concerned for her safety, so she snuck her phone to her 11-year-old son, Aderrien, and asked him to call his grandmother and the police, WJTV reported.

The family’s attorney, Carlos Moore, said two Indianola police officers responded to the family’s home on BB King road, according to FOX News.

“My child’s father was still there,” Murry told ABC News. “He was like, ‘Don’t open the door.’ I was telling him that I’m going to open the door.”

Murry said the man then “ran toward the back” of the residence and ultimately fled as the officers “started kicking on the door with their foot, like they were trying to break it down,” ABC News reported.

Murry opened the door and told the officers the “irate” man had left and that only her three children were inside, FOX News reported.

According to Murry, Sgt. Capers yelled into her house, telling everyone inside that they should come out with their hands raised.

Moore said Aderrien came into the living room with his hands empty, at which point Sgt. Capers shot him in the chest, FOX News reported.

“His words to me was ‘why did he shoot me?”’ Murry said her son told her right after he was shot. “He ran to me, he was bleeding, I held him… he bled out the mouth.”

Murry said Aderrien “sang gospel songs and prayed while bleeding out” as she and Sgt. Capers applied pressure to his wound with their hands to try to stop the bleeding, according to CNN.

Aderrien was rushed to a local hospital and treated for a lacerated liver, a collapsed lung, and multiple fractured ribs, FOX News reported.

He was released from the hospital four days later and is continuing his recovery at home.

“He still has lots of questions,” Moore told CNN. “He is emotionally distraught. He is glad to be alive.”

The incident was captured by the sergeant’s bodycam.

The MBI is handling the ongoing investigation into the officer-involved shooting, WJTV reported.

Their findings will be forwarded to the Mississippi Attorney General’s Office.

Moore said Aderrien “did everything right” that day, but that he still inexplicably wound up being shot, CNN reported.

The attorney said there is “no way” the sergeant could have mistaken the boy for an adult.

“This 11-year-old child was about four-feet-ten it looks like and so he could not have been confused,” Moore told CNN. “So, we don’t know what happened, but we do know this officer’s actions were reckless, very reckless, and could have led to the loss of life.”

Moore’s assertions regarding what Sgt. Capers might have perceived conflicted with statements made by Murry, who told reporters the sergeant’s reaction to her son entering the room was “instant.”

“He came from around the corner, and it was instant. It was instant,” she said, adding that there was no way Sgt. Capers knew “if it was a man, boy, pig or cow” when he opened fire.

Moore and Aderrien’s family have demanded Sgt. Capers and Chief Sampson be fired over the ordeal, WJTV reported.

He has also called on the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) to become involved.

Moore was outraged when Sgt. Capers was initially suspended with pay.

“I didn’t ask for a suspension with pay. I asked and demanded termination. Did I stutter?” Moore said during a rally last month. “Did I speak in Spanish? I know my name is Carlos, but I thought I was talking in English. When I say termination, I mean termination. You don’t give someone a paid vacation who committed such a reckless act.”

“We are demanding justice,” the attorney added. “An 11-year-old black boy in the city of Indianola came within an inch of losing his life. He had done nothing wrong and everything right.”

Written by
Holly Matkin

Holly is a former probation and parole officer who is married to a sheriff’s deputy. She is a regular contributor to Signature Montana magazine, and has written feature articles for Distinctly Montana magazine.

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Written by Holly Matkin


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