Aderrien Murry, 11, called 911 early Saturday morning to protect his mother during a domestic disturbance in Indianola, Mississippi. The responding officer shot the unarmed Black child in the chest when he followed instructions to come out with his hands up.
The family’s attorney, Carlos Moore, told reporters yesterday that Aderrien’s mother, Nakala Murry, asked Aderrien to call 911 and his grandmother when the father of one of her other children came to her home at about 4 am Saturday, acting irate.
“He called police and said his mother was afraid, but that the man did not have a gun,” Mr. Moore said.
Two officers responded, Mr. Moore said, and one kicked in the front door. Ms. Murry told officer Greg Capers that the intruder was gone but three children were inside, and no one in the house was armed.
With his gun drawn, the officer yelled out that anyone in the house should come out with their hands up, Mr. Moore said.
Aderrien followed instructions and came out into the living room with his hands up, his mother told reporters, and was shot instantly.
“He came from around the corner, and it was instant,” she said. “It was instant.”
“His words were: ‘Why did he shoot me? What did I do?’ and he started crying,” Ms. Murry shared at a news conference.
Indianola City Attorney Kimberly Merchant confirmed that Greg Capers fired the shot. The Indianola Board of Aldermen voted on Monday to place him on paid administrative leave during an investigation, CNN reported.
Aderrien was placed on a ventilator and chest tube at the University of Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson for a collapsed lung, fractured ribs, and lacerated liver, Mr. Moore told The Washington Post.
He was released from the hospital Wednesday and returned home to Indianola.
Yesterday, protestors outside city hall called for Mr. Capers to be fired as Aderrien’s family members went inside to ask the mayor for a comment on behalf of the city.
When Ms. Murry emerged 15 minutes later, visibly shaken, she told reporters “the mayor said nothing.” No one from the police department came to the hospital to update her about the investigation, she added.
Ms. Murry told reporters yesterday that her son is recovering, but he has a lot of questions about what happened. “He asked me in the hospital why they shot him,” she said. “He was in good spirit[s], but every now and then I’ll look over at him and he’ll just cry.”
Mr. Moore said he plans to file a federal lawsuit to obtain body-camera footage of the shooting. He told The Washington Post that the officer should face criminal charges, calling Mr. Capers “a threat to the safety” of Indianola’s 9,300 residents, most of whom are Black.