Attorney for 11-year-old Mississippi boy shot by police says there’s ‘no way’ he could have been mistaken for an adult
By Nick Valencia and Devon M. Sayers, CNN
(CNN) — An attorney for an 11-year-old Mississippi boy who was shot by a police officer after he called 911 for help said Thursday there was “no way” the boy could have been mistaken for an adult.
The attorney, Carlos Moore, is asking for “a full and transparent investigation” of the shooting.
Aderrien Murry is recovering after being released from the hospital, according to his family, who has called for the officer to be fired and charged with the shooting. The boy is traumatized and will require counseling, according to Moore.
Aderrien was shot in the chest by an Indianola Police Department officer early Saturday morning while the officer was responding to a domestic disturbance call at the child’s home, according to his mother, Nakala Murry, and the Mississippi Bureau of Investigation.
Moore told CNN Thursday there is “no way” the boy could have been mistaken by the officer for the adult who was the subject of the 911 call – a man “over 6 feet tall.”
“This 11-year-old child was about 4 feet 10 it looks like and so he could not have been confused,” Moore said. “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 said the boy “did everything right” the morning of the shooting and described him as “a good student” who obeyed his mother’s request that he call the police for assistance.
“No child should ever be subjected to such violence at the hands of those who are sworn to protect and serve,” Moore said in a statement earlier Thursday.
“We must demand justice for this young boy and his family. We cannot allow another senseless tragedy like this to occur. We must come together as a community to demand change and accountability from our law enforcement officials.”
The circumstances of the shooting are under investigation.
Moore, the boy’s mother and others held a sit-in protest Thursday morning at Indianola City Hall. A march and rally to demand the firing of the officer and the release of body-camera footage is planned for Saturday.
“We are demanding justice,” Moore said outside City Hall on Thursday morning before the sit-in. “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.”
The Indianola Police department on Friday referred all questions regarding the incident to the Mississippi Bureau of Investigation, which has declined to comment beyond a short statement released last weekend.
The boy was seriously injured and suffered a collapsed lung, fractured ribs and a lacerated liver from the shooting. He was released from the University of Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson on Wednesday, hospital spokesperson Annie Oeth said.
“He still has lots of questions,” Moore said of the boy on Thursday. “He is emotionally distraught. He is glad to be alive.”
Murry said her son is “blessed” to be alive and is asking why the police shot him.
Murry told ABC’s “Good Morning America” on Thursday that arriving officers yelled “Open the door, open the door,” and when she opened it, an officer outside was holding up a gun, telling her to come outside.
Murry told the show she stepped outside and walked toward the end of a driveway, where her mother was, and then “heard a shot and I saw my son run out towards where we were.” He then fell, bleeding from a gunshot wound, she said.
The officer who fired the shot told her that he had shot Aderrien after he came around a corner, she told the show.
Moore told CNN he met Aderrien in person for the first time on Thursday and described him as being “in good spirits” but “still shocked about what happened.”
He added, “He is afraid of the police. He is still in pain.”
Moore said the police department has yet to contact the boy’s mother.
Mother asked son to call the police
Murry told CNN that the “irate” father of another of her children arrived at her home at 4 a.m. Saturday.
Concerned about her safety, Murry asked Aderrien to call the police.
Murry said the officer who arrived at the home “had his gun drawn at the front door and asked those inside the home to come outside.” Murry said her son was shot coming around the corner of a hallway, into the living room.
“Once he came from around the corner, he got shot,” Murry said. “I cannot grasp why. The same cop that told him to come out of the house. (Aderrien) did, and he got shot. He kept asking, ‘Why did he shoot me? What did I do wrong?’” she said.
The shooting happened within what felt like “one to two minutes” after the officer asked those in the house to come outside, Murry said.
The boy was given a chest tube and placed on a ventilator at the University of Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson. He had a collapsed lung, fractured ribs and a lacerated liver because of the shooting, his mother said. He was released from the hospital Wednesday. CNN has reached out to the hospital.
Two other children, including Murry’s daughter and 2-year-old nephew, were also in the home at the time of the shooting, she said.
Body camera footage has not been released
Moore told CNN the incident was captured on police body camera video.
The attorney said his request for the body camera footage was denied due to “an ongoing investigation.”
Moore said he was told there is also video of the incident from a nearby gas station.
The Indianola Police Department confirmed that the officer involved in the shooting is named Greg Capers but did not provide any additional details on the shooting, telling CNN the police chief was unavailable.
CNN reached out to Capers for comment but did not immediately hear back.
On Monday evening, the Indianola Board of Aldermen voted to place Capers on paid administrative leave while the shooting is investigated, according to the family attorney.
In 2021, Capers was named Indianola Chamber Main Street Policeman of the Year, according to the Enterprise-Tocsin, an Indianola, Mississippi, newspaper.
In the weekend statement, the MBI said it is “currently assessing this critical incident and gathering evidence” and would turn over its findings to the state attorney general’s office after the investigation is complete.
On Wednesday, MBI spokesperson Bailey Martin declined to answer additional questions, telling CNN in an email, “Due to this being an open and ongoing investigation, no further comment will be made.”
CNN has contacted the District Attorney’s Office for the Fourth Circuit Court and the Mississippi Attorney General’s Office for comment.
Family angry police officer remains employed by department
Murry said that after her son was shot, she placed her hand on his wound to apply pressure as he “sang gospel songs and prayed while bleeding out.” The officer, she said, tried to help render first aid and placed his hand on top of hers to try to stop Aderrien’s bleeding.
When an ambulance arrived, medics were “very attentive,” she said.
“Aderrien came within an inch of losing his life,” Moore said. “It’s not OK for a cop to do this and get away with this. The mother asked Aderrien to call the police on her daughter’s father. He walked out of his room as directed by the police and he got shot.”
Murry said police told her that her daughter’s father was taken into custody later in the day on Saturday but eventually released because she had not filed a police report against him.
“When was I going to have time to do that? I was in the hospital with my son,” she said, reacting to the news of the man’s release from custody.
Four days after the shooting, Murry told CNN that “no one came to the hospital from the police station” nor had she spoken to any police investigators about the shooting.
“I’m just happy my son is alive,” she said through tears.
Moore told CNN that he is furious that Capers remains employed by the Indianola Police Department.
“We believe that the city and the officer should be liable to Aderrien Murray, for the damages they have caused,” the attorney said.
Indianola is a small, mostly African American town with 31% of the population below the poverty line. It lies in the Mississippi Delta, about 100 miles north of Jackson.
™ & © 2023 Cable News Network, Inc., a Warner Bros. Discovery Company. All rights reserved.
CNN’s Ray Sanchez contributed to this report.