New details in shooting of 11-year-old Aderrien Murry emerge from 911 calls
A Mississippi 911 dispatcher was told that a man allegedly trying to enter a home last May was unarmed and that there were children inside the residence — where one officer shot and wounded 11-year-old Aderrien Murry, who had called police for help.
Carlos Moore, the attorney representing the Murry family, says the recordings he released on Friday "directly contradict the initial police account and raise serious questions about the handling of the situation that led to the tragic shooting."
"This crucial information should have been known to the responding officers and should have informed their approach to the situation," Moore said in a statement.
Moore released the five minutes of audio recordings to reporters after the Mississippi Bureau of Investigation originally declined to do so.
Earlier this week, body camera footage from the incident was also released and obtained by NPR.
Neither the Indianola Police Department nor the dispatcher, Jada Rush, responded to NPR's requests for comment following the release of the body camera footage and the recording of the 911 call placed by Aderrien.
Last month, a grand jury in Mississippi determined that there was no criminal conduct by the officer, Sgt. Greg Capers, and no further action or charges will be taken against him.
On May 20, Aderrien called 911 at the request of his mother, Nakala Murry, to ask for help after a still-unidentified man arrived at their house. A 911 dispatcher, Jada Rush, received his call, confirmed his address and then sent police officers to the house.
On one of the tapes, Rush can be heard calling Aderrien back to notify him about the officers' arrival. Aderrien said the man wasn't allowing his family to go outside. Aderrien also confirmed to the dispatcher that the unidentified man involved in the domestic dispute with his mother had no weapons.
"OK, [officers] are asking if they have your permission to kick the door in?" Rush then said.
"Yes," Aderrien said.
For several seconds during the call as officers began to enter the home, the audio went silent — except for Aderrien's breathing, while he stayed on the phone with 911.
In the background of the call, Sgt. Greg Capers, one of the officers responding to the incident, is heard saying, "Come out, sir — don't make us come in." (This portion of audio matches what is seen and heard in thebody camera footage released by the Mississippi Bureau of Investigation.)
"Police! If you got any weapons, you better put them down," Capers says.
Around five seconds after Capers asked the question, he opened fire, shooting the 11-year-old in the chest, the body camera footage shows. The conversation between officers and those in the home is faintly heard in the background as the 911 dispatcher was still on the line with Aderrien.
Another recording contains a 911 call from Aderrien's grandmother, telling Rush to send police to the Murry's home after Aderrien called her. Rush confirmed this in her statements to the MBI.
The recordings provide more clarity into what happened the night of May 20 — particularly since Rush's accounting of the events seems to have changed. In documents from an interview with the Mississippi Bureau of Investigation dated May 20, 2023, Rush told investigators that she had been on the phone with the 11-year-old.
Photos of two handwritten statements signed by Rush in the MBI files obtained by NPR show that Rush revised her statement.
In the first statement dated May 20, she said Nakala Murry called in the domestic dispute, and not Aderrien or his grandmother. But a second, revised statement, dated May 25, did not name Nakala Murry as the caller.
It is still unclear whether Rush asked the callers whether there were children present at the home.
Aderrien survived the shooting. He suffered a collapsed lung, a fractured rib and a lacerated liver from the incident.
Aderrien's mother, Nakala Murry, told NPRprior to the release of both the bodycam footage and the 911 audio recording that the shooting could have been avoided.
"Things need to change. People need to show more accountability. Laws need to be [changed]," Murry said.
Capers has since returned to work with the Indianola Police Department.
In May, the Murry family filed a $5 million federal lawsuit, saying that the police officers who responded to the incident acted in a way that was "so outrageous that it shocks the moral and legal conscience of the community."
The lawsuit filed by Carlos Moore, the family's attorney, accuses the police of violating Aderrien Murry's civil rights — specifically the Fourth Amendment's protection against the use of excessive force and the 14th Amendment's guarantee of due process.
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