Bio & Incident Details
Tour: 19 years
Badge # 945
Cause: Gunfire (Accidental)
Detective William Capers was accidentally shot and killed by another officer while in pursuit of a suspect.
Detective Capers and his partner were in the Jamaica, Queens, area investigating complaints of purse snatching in the area. The detectives spotted three men in a parking lot on 164th Street carrying shopping bags and stopped to question them. During the questioning, the detectives found that one of the men was in possession of an illegal handgun in his car. As they were handcuffing the suspects, one of the suspects fled on foot. Detective Capers pursued him, firing a warning shot into the air. Detective Capers was able to catch up to the suspect in the vestibule of 89-53 164th Street.
A nearby patrolman observed Detective Capers, with gun in hand, chasing the suspect. The Patrolman, thinking that Detective Capers was robbing the suspect, opened fire, killing Detective Capers.
Detective Capers was posthumously awarded the New York City Police Department's Medal of Honor.
He had been with the New York City Police Department for 19 years and was survived by his wife and son. He was assigned to the 16th Division Burglary/Larceny Squad.