‘This is not OK.’ Mother of 11-year-old shot by Mississippi police pleads for answers

Courtesy Nakala Murry

Days after an 11-year-old boy was shot in the chest by an Indianola, Mississippi police officer, family and community members are calling for answers and for the officer’s termination.

Community members identified the boy as Aderrien Murry. He was shot early Saturday morning when officers responded to a domestic call at his home, according to a statement from the Mississippi Bureau of Investigation, which is investigating the shooting.

As of Tuesday, Murry is in the intensive care unit at the University of Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson, the family’s attorney Carlos Moore said. He was placed on a ventilator because he has a collapsed lung, and he has other injuries including fractured ribs and a lacerated liver.

Information about why the unarmed child was shot has not been released, said Moore, who is representing the boy’s family and joined them and community members at a Monday press conference outside of Indianola City Hall.

“This cannot keep happening. This is not OK,” said Nakala Murry, the boy’s mother, during the press conference. “If a non-police officer was to shoot someone, you know it’s not OK. When the police do it, they have protocol. He was trained. He knows what to do.”

Nakala Murry said her son is strong, but Aderrien does not understand what happened to him.

“His words were: ‘Why did he shoot me? What did I do?’ and he started crying,” she said.

She remembers holding her son, applying pressure to his wound and seeing blood run from his mouth — an image she sees every time she closes her eyes.

Nakala Murry said police were called to the house because the father of her other child came over and was acting irate. When he acted this way, she knew something could potentially happen and wanted “to stop it right there.” She snuck her phone to her son and asked him to call her mother and the police.

Investigators did not name the Indianola police officer, but Moore said his investigation uncovered that the officer is Greg Capers, who was named the department’s “best officer.”

“If he’s your best, Indianola, you need a clean house from top to bottom,” Moore said.

After the conference, the group attended the Board of Aldermen meeting. On Monday evening, the board voted to place Capers on paid administrative leave pending further investigation, Moore said.

He said there is always a possibility for the board to call a special meeting to take further action with Capers.

Murry’s family and supporters are calling for Capers and Police Chief Ronald Sampson to be fired and body camera footage to be released within 48 hours. Moore is also asking the Sunflower County district attorney to prosecute the officer for attempted murder.

If the city does not act, Moore said Murry’s family and supporters plan to hold a sit-in at Indianola City Hall starting Thursday morning.

Moore directly addressed Mayor Ken Featherstone, telling him to take the shooting seriously, and Sampson, telling him to give the family and community answers and questioning why he didn’t take past misconduct from Capers seriously.

Moore said the officer has not been disciplined for tasing another client of his, Kelvin Franklin, while the man was in handcuffs in December 2022.

On Tuesday, Sampson declined to comment, but he said he and the mayor are likely to make a statement once MBI completes its investigation. Featherstone did not respond to a request for comment.

“What are you waiting on? Someone to actually die?” Moore said during the press conference. “An 11-year-old almost died. By the grace of God, he is alive. The people of Indianola are not going to wait until somebody dies.”