Detective William R. Capers

Detective William R. Capers

New York City Police Department, New York

End of Watch Monday, April 3, 1972

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William R. Capers

Detective William Capers was accidentally shot and killed by another officer while in pursuit of a robbery subject.

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.

Detective Capers and is partner were handcuffing the suspects when one of the subjects fled on foot. Detective Capers pursued him, firing a warning shot into the air. Detective Capers caught-up with up the suspect in the vestibule of 89-53 164th Street and was holding him at gunpoint.

A nearby Patrolman observed Detective Capers, with a 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.

Detective Capers served 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.


  • Age 51
  • Tour 19 years
  • Badge 945

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire (Inadvertent)

suspicious person, mistaken identity

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God Bless you. Rest In Peace.

NYPD Detective-Retired

April 3, 2024

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