Mississippi police officer who shot 11-year-old suspended without pay
By: NBC News
June 14, 2023, 10:11 AM UTCBy Chantal Da Silva
A Mississippi police officer who shot and wounded an 11-year-old in the child's home after he called authorities for help was suspended without pay Monday, a city official said.
The Indianola Board of Aldermen voted to suspend Sgt. Greg Capers without pay "effective immediately" in a 4-1 vote during a board meeting Monday night, Indianola Alderman Marvin Elder said.
The suspension without pay comes weeks after 11-year-old Aderrien Murry was seriously injured when he was shot in the chest by Capers after the Indianola Police Department officer responded to a domestic call at the home of the child's mother.
Police had been called to the home after the father of another child of Nakala Murry, Aderrien's mother, unexpectedly showed up at the residence around 4 a.m. on May 20, according to a $5 million federal civil rights lawsuit filed last month by the family.
The suit said the man was "irate" and Murry told Aderrien to call the police.
Capers arrived "with his firearm drawn at the front and asked everyone inside of the residence to come outside," the lawsuit said.
Carlos Moore, an attorney for the family, said police had been told the man was unarmed and had run out a back door and that three children were in the residence.
As Aderrien came around the corner of a hallway that led into the living room area, he was "instantly shot by Defendant Officer Capers," according to the suit, with the child suffering a collapsed lung, a lacerated liver and fractured ribs, according to the document.
Aderrien was taken to a hospital and released four days later to recover at home.
In an interview last month with ABC News, the child said getting shot felt like "a Taser, like a big punch to the chest." He said that following the incident, he was still having trouble breathing.
The lawsuit, which named the city of Indianola, Police Chief Ronald Sampson and Capers as defendants, accused Capers of failing to assess the situation before displaying and firing his weapon.
No charges have been filed so far and Capers was previously on paid administrative leave amid mounting calls for him to be fired and charged.
11-year-old shot by police in Mississippi after calling for help
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The Indianola Police Department and an attorney for Capers did not immediately respond to overnight requests for comment from NBC News.
Capers' attorney, Michael Carr, told The Associated Press that the board's vote Monday night took place in a "closed-door, unnoticed" meeting without either him or his client being informed.
"This is very disturbing to Sgt. Capers, and he should have been allowed due process," he said. "They have no evidence Sgt. Capers intentionally shot this young man, which he didn't. Everything that happened was a total and complete accident."
Carr said body camera footage would prove Capers did nothing wrong. "I thank God that Sgt. Capers was wearing a bodycam," he said.
In addition to the lawsuit filed last month, Murry also filed an affidavit, reviewed by The Associated Press, calling for criminal charges against Capers, the news agency reported. That affidavit is expected to be considered at an Oct. 2 probable cause hearing in the Sunflower County Circuit Court.
"This is only the beginning," Murry said in a written statement, according to the AP. "I look forward to seeing Greg Capers terminated, and never allowed to work for law enforcement again."
Chantal Da Silva
Chantal Da Silva is a breaking news editor for NBC News Digital based in London.
Nicole Duarte and The Associated Press contributed.