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11-year-old boy shot in the chest by Mississippi police after calling 911 for help says he prayed and sang to stay alive


By Nick Valencia, Christina Maxouris and Devon M. Sayers, CNN

(CNN) — The 11-year-old boy who was shot in the chest by a Mississippi police officer after he called 911 for help says he began praying and singing during what he thought would be his last moments alive, while his mother pushed down on his wound to stop the bleeding.

Aderrien Murry sang the gospel song “No Weapon Formed Against Me Shall Prosper” in the moments after his May 20 shooting, he told CNN’s Nick Valencia in an interview Tuesday. He then told his mother to tell his family and his teacher he was “sorry for what he did.”

It’s his prayers that helped save his life, Aderrien said. But the thoughts of what could have happened still haunt him.

“Sometimes, I can see myself laying inside the coffin. Those are my thoughts at night, my only ones,” Aderrien said, speaking softly throughout the interview, but often with a wisdom well beyond his young age. “Sometimes I think people are watching me. But my main thought is me dead, inside the coffin.”

Nearly 10 days after the shooting, Aderrien told CNN he still has pain in parts of his body, has trouble breathing and isn’t able to do things like run or jump. But he’s alive, and that, he said, is “because of the grace of God.”

“I think God has a plan for me. I don’t know it yet,” he said, but he will “know it soon.”

He followed police commands and was shot

Aderrien was shot in the chest by an Indianola Police Department officer while the officer was responding to a domestic disturbance call at the child’s home, CNN has previously reported. Indianola police have confirmed the officer who shot Aderrien was Greg Capers.

Capers has not responded to CNN’s requests for comment. Police have not provided additional details on the shooting.

The shooting is being probed by the Mississippi Bureau of Investigation.

Last week, the Indianola Board of Aldermen voted to place Capers on paid administrative leave while the shooting is investigated, the attorney representing the boy and his mother previously told CNN.

The boy’s mother, Nakala Murry, asked Aderrien to call police after the father of another of her children arrived at her home after 4 a.m. that Saturday and was “irate.”

Aderrien told CNN he had told the operator the man did not have a gun, and that his mother also told police when they arrived that he did not have a gun.

Upon arrival, police yelled for everyone in the house to come out with their hands up, the boy recalled. And when Aderrien came, he was shot.

“I just tried to follow the police commands but I guess that didn’t work,” the child said.

After the shooting, the child was given a chest tube and placed on a ventilator, CNN has reported. He had a collapsed lung, fractured ribs, and a lacerated liver, his mother has said. He was released from the hospital Wednesday.

“If I had not been informed about the case I would not have believed that this could be possible. A trained officer shooting an unarmed 11-year-old?” Carlos Moore, the attorney representing the child and his mother, told CNN. “For him to do this, to shoot a boy that obeyed his commands, he came out with his hands up, and get shot in the chest? Unheard of.”

“(Aderrien) trusted the police, he called the police to come to the aid of his mother and he turns around and gets shot by the cop he called to rescue them,” Moore added.

Moore has said the incident was captured on police body camera video, adding his request for that footage was denied because of the ongoing investigation.

In an off-camera interview with CNN, Indianola Mayor Ken Featherstone said the Board of Aldermen was gathering again for an emergency meeting Tuesday to discuss the body camera footage of the incident.

The boy’s family has filed a lawsuit in federal court seeking $5 million, claiming excessive force, negligence, reckless endangerment, and civil assault and battery, among other counts.

Reacting to the lawsuit, the mayor said he looks forward to “making everyone whole,” but the city “doesn’t have $5 million in the bank.”

Family wants officer fired

Aderrien told CNN he wants to know why he was shot – and wants the officer who did it to lose his job.

“I could have lost my life. All because of you,” he said when asked what he would tell Capers. “I want you terminated for what you did to me.”

His perception of police has changed since the shooting, he added. But that’s not all that’s different: When he’s alone in dark rooms, he often thinks people and officers are inside his home. Sometimes, he thinks he’s seeing the officer who shot him “standing inside corners, just staring at me.”

During the same interview, Nakala Murry said she’s grateful her son is alive but wants justice for what happened, and that includes better training for police officers and the firing of Capers.

“I’m angry but I’m so overfilled with joy to have my child that I don’t have time to be angry, I trust in the law that they will make the right decision,” she said Tuesday, but added, “Something has to be done.”

She wonders whether it would have been safer not to have called police in the first place. And she told CNN that after she got down on the floor to help put pressure on her son’s gunshot wound and began praying with Aderrien, the officer began praying with them.

“We just need peace,” she said. “And we need justice.”

Featherstone, the mayor, said he cannot support the officer’s firing “before knowing all the facts, and at this time I don’t know all the facts.” He said he has not yet seen the body camera footage of the incident and has not spoken to Capers.

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