The DEA Honor Roll
Official Line of Duty Deaths
William R. Capers
Shield Number: 945
Command: 016 Detective Division
Date of Death: 04/23/1972
Cause of Death: Shot - Accidental Discharge
On April 3rd, 1972, a confrontational situation would occur that would have lasting effects on the City of New York Police Department. It was on that day that 51 year old Detective William Capers, a 19 year veteran assigned to the 16th Detective Division, Burglary-Larceny Squad, was on Foot Patrol in the 103 Precinct. Detective Capers and his partner, Detective Raymond Godley, were working in plainclothes
Near Jamaica Avenue. They spotted 3 males near a bank of 164th Street acting suspiciously. As the detectives began to question them, one male bolted away. Detective Godley held 2 males, while Detective chased the 3rd. The male was grabbed in front of a store on 164th Street. As Detective Capers struggled with the suspect a shot was fired from his gun. A uniformed officer nearby on traffic duty heard the shot and ran to the scene. Not knowing who Detective Capers was, and seeing the gun, he fired a single shot mortally wounding him.
Detective Capers 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 Burglar Larceny Squad.