by Emily Wagster Pettus —
JACKSON, Miss. – An 11-year-old Mississippi boy who called police to help his family and then was shot by an officer said the bullet that pierced his lung felt “like a big punch to the chest.”
“I actually thought I was about to lose my life,” Aderrien Murry told “Good Morning America” in an interview that aired Tuesday.
The shooting happened May 20 in Indianola, a town of about 9,300 residents in the rural Mississippi Delta, about 95 miles (153 kilometers) northwest of Jackson.
Aderrien’s mother, Nakala Murry, filed a federal lawsuit Tuesday against Indianola, the police chief and the officer accused of shooting her son. The lawsuit, which seeks at least $5 million, says Indianola failed to properly train the officer and the officer used excessive force.
Nakala Murry asked her son to call police about 4 a.m. when the father of one of her other children showed up at her home, Murry family attorney Carlos Moore told The Associated Press last week. Moore said the man was irate and Nakala Murry felt threatened.
Moore said two officers went to the home and one kicked the front door before Nakala Murry opened it. She told them the man causing a disturbance had left the home but three children were inside, Moore said.
Moore said Nakala Murry told him that Sgt. Greg Capers, who is Black, yelled into the home and said anyone inside should come out with their hands up. Moore said Aderrien, who is also Black, walked into the living room with nothing in his hands, and Capers shot him in the chest.
“I came out doing this,” Aderrien told “Good Morning America,” holding both hands up. He said he was bleeding from his mouth after he was shot, and he remembered singing a song: “No weapon formed against me shall prosper …”
Aderrien Murry was hospitalized five days for a collapsed lung, lacerated liver and fractured ribs, Moore said.
“It was God that saved my life,” Aderrien told “Good Morning America.” “And I truly, truly believe that.”
Nakala Murry said during a protest at Indianola City Hall last week that her son is “blessed” to be alive but he does not understand why an officer shot him.
“I never thought anything like this would happen” Nakala Murry told “Good Morning America.” “It’s scary. It’s emotional to even think about how I could’ve lost my son because I was trying to get help.”
Indianola City Attorney Kimberly Merchant confirmed to The Enterprise-Tocsin newspaper in Indianola that Capers is the officer who fired the shot. An Indianola Police Department communications supervisor, Kedric Wash, told AP on Tuesday that the department is not commenting on the shooting while it is under state investigation.
Moore told AP last week that Indianola officials have suspended Capers with pay during an investigation into the shooting. Moore and Nakala Murry have called on the Indianola Police Department to fire Capers.
Mississippi Bureau of Investigation announced it is examining the shooting, as it does most shootings involving law enforcement officers in the state. Mississippi Department of Public Safety spokesperson Bailey Martin said last week that the department would not comment on the investigation as it continues, and MBI agents will share their findings with the state attorney general’s office.