Friends of Mark Capps speak out after fatal SWAT officer shooting

Friends of Grammy Award winner Mark Capps are now speaking out after his fatal shooting Thursday afternoon.
Published: Jan. 8, 2023 at 11:08 PM CST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WSMV) - The friends of Grammy Award-winning musician Mark Capps have spoken out after his fatal shooting on Thursday afternoon.

Police said Capps was wanted for kidnapping and was shot to death by a Metro SWAT officer serving a warrant.

On Sunday, WSMV4 spoke to Capps’ friends, and many were filled with mixed emotions from people who said they’ve known Capps for more than a decade. Some said they were frustrated, saddened, and confused, but most were all shocked.

“My first reaction was total shock,” said David Hungate, a friend of Capps.

After years of friendship, Hungate said his mouth dropped when he saw the body camera video showing the moment the SWAT officer yelled for Capps to show his hand. Police said Capps was holding a gun and that was what triggered one officer to fire off the shots that killed Capps, a fraction of a second after he held out two commands.

“It’s hard for me to process that he was a threat to his family even though it’s reported that he was,” another friend of Capps, Don Cook said.

Metro Police said just hours before the shooting, the 54-year-old music producer allegedly kidnapped his wife and stepdaughter at gunpoint. Police noted that Capps was also heavily intoxicated and taking prescription drugs.

Officers said the two women escaped overnight and reported the situation to police which was when Metro SWAT crews were called to Capps’ home.

“It’s so out of character for the person I know intimately to be like that, it just didn’t make sense to me and it still doesn’t make sense to me,” Cook said.

Another friend of Capps’ Mark Casstevens said he always lightened the load.

“He was just that kind of uplifting spirit,” Casstevens said. “And that is how I will always think about him.”

The friends who spoke out for Capps said that he was not himself during that time.

“Mark was home with a lot of time on his hands and I’m sure feeling some pressure financially about the loss of his brother,” Cook explained. “[Capps was] not working at the time and I’m sure that weighed on him heavily.”

Cook said Capps’ brother died two days before the shooting.

Friends of Capps believe that, with no criminal history and a high amount of mental stress, the situation should have been handled differently.

“My real hope is that we can’t bring Mark back, but the next time an incident like this happens, I hope there are better ways to resolve it without the death of someone,” Mike Bradly, a friend of Capps said.

It’s a message Capps’ friends said they’ll do anything to spread.

“He was not himself and needs to be remembered for how he lived and not how he died,” Hungate said.

Capps’ friends told WSMV4 they’re now working to let more people know the kind of person Capps was before the situation leading up to his death.