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Family of 11-year-old Mississippi boy shot by police files federal lawsuit seeking $5 million

<i>CNN</i><br/>Aderrien Murry
Aderrien Murry

By Shawn Nottingham, Nick Valencia and Devon M. Sayers, CNN

(CNN) — The family of 11-year-old Mississippi boy Aderrien Murry has filed a lawsuit in federal court seeking $5 million after he was shot earlier this month by a police officer who responded to the child’s 911 call for help.

The lawsuit was filed Tuesday by Aderrien’s mother, Nakala Murry, against the City of Indianola, Mississippi, its police chief and several officers, including Greg Capers, who the Indianola Police Department previously confirmed was the officer who shot the child.

Capers has not responded to CNN’s requests for comment. The shooting remains under investigation by the Mississippi Bureau of Investigation.

Aderrien was shot in the chest by the officer in the early morning on May 20, while the officer was responding to a domestic disturbance call at the child’s home, according to his mother and the Mississippi Bureau of Investigation.

The lawsuit, filed in US District Court for the Northern District of Mississippi, seeks at least $5 million in damages, claiming excessive force, negligence, reckless endangerment, and civil assault and battery, among other counts.

Capers “failed to assess the situation before displaying and/or discharging his firearm,” the lawsuit claims, going on to allege negligence on the part of the city, saying, “The injuries endured by the defendants could have been avoided if Defendants would have acquired the adequate training on how to provide proper assistance and care.”

The suit claims Capers’ actions “were so grossly negligent and reckless; utterly offensive; and were committed with such utter disregard for the rights of (the plaintiff) … as to amount to willful, wanton, and/or intentional misconduct.”

Indianola Mayor Ken Featherstone told CNN he would like to see justice for the child, but “cannot support the firing of (Capers) before knowing all the facts, and at this time I don’t know all the facts.”

The mayor said he has not seen the body camera footage of the incident and has not spoken to the officer since the shooting.

Featherstone said he has spoken to the family but did not elaborate on that conversation and, reacting to the lawsuit, said he looks forward to “making everyone whole.”

“I’m sure we’re insured, but we don’t have $5 million sitting there,” he said.

How the shooting unfolded

Murry previously told CNN the “irate” father of another of her children arrived at her home at 4 a.m. the day of the shooting. Concerned about her safety, Murry said she asked Aderrien to call the police.

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, she said.

“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 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 has since been released.

Carlos Moore, an attorney for Aderrien’s family, has told CNN there was “no way” the boy could have been mistaken by the officer for the adult who was the subject of the 911 call. Aderrien stands about 4 feet 10, while the adult in question is more than 6 feet tall.

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CNN’s Dakin Andone contributed to this report.

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