He was college-bound.
Instead, Friday, May 7, will likely be the day of his funeral.
“They murdered my son,” said Jerry Capps, the young man’s father, who lives in Sunnyside Mobile Home Community with his wife, Jaylene, the young man’s mother.
The community, where the Capps family has lived for a dozen years, is just off Sturgis Road, not far north of the Rapid City line.
Christopher J. Capps, 22, who died of multiple gunshot wounds on Sunday night at Rapid City Regional Hospital, had been accepted by the University of South Dakota – Vermillion.
“He was excited about starting this fall. He was planning for it,” said Capps’ mother, Jaylene Capps. “He was going to study computer animation,” said his mother.
“He really loved that kind of work. In fact, he’d already done some of it for some big companies – companies that wanted him to do everything from voice-over to animation coordination,” she said, indicating that his work was hands-on.
A 2006 graduate of Stevens High School, Capps’ funeral arrangements are with Sioux Funeral Home in Pine Ridge and Serenity Springs Funeral Home in Rapid City. On Tuesday, his parents were headed to Pine Ridge to plan the funeral of their son.
“We’re just devastated,” said Capps’ mother about their only child. “It’s been so hard for us. The local news has been so bad about my son.”
Her son, who went to Dakota Middle School and Black Hawk Elementary School, was going to build his college career around computer science and biology.
“He was really into computers – computer animation,” she said, though Capps participated in sports and music in his earlier school years. “In high school, he was more into them (computers).”
Described as a “very outgoing” young man, Capps was well known around the neighborhood where was shot in a hail of bullets that may have ranged as high as five or six shots from Sheriff Department deputy David Olson, a nearly five-year veteran of the department.
“He would meet anybody at any time. He had a lot of friends here,” Capps said about his son, who lived with his parents at the time of his death. He also was a walker, as are his parents.
“All of us usually went walking in the evenings,” said his mother. “But we didn’t go with him on Sunday evening, though he went anyway.”
It was during Capps’ walk, which started about 6:00 p.m. Sunday that things went awry, according to Capps’ father.
“We had a big meal and he had eaten too much – too many tacos,” said Capps’ father. “He said he needed to walk it off.”
An unassuming young man, Capps was 6-ft. 1-in. tall and weighed in at about 200 lbs., according to his father, who said his son had black hair and dark eyes. He was sporting a moustache and beard when he died.
“He just wasn’t imposing at all,” said his father, who said his son was being harassed by two people when law enforcement officials arrived at the scene on Sunday.
“Some are saying my son was wandering around knocking on doors on Saturday evening,” said Capps’ father, who is disturbed by what he calls the police cover-up stories about his son. “That’s not true. He spent the entire evening in the house with us – all night.”
Capps was up late on Saturday night and had slept in on Sunday, according to his father, who railed against reports that his son was stealing a bicycle at the time of the incident.
“He owns a new $600 touring bike,” Capps’ father said. “He wasn’t interested in a $45 bike. My son didn’t need to steal a crappy, cheap bike.”
Capps’ father and mother are convinced that their son continued to approach the deputy because he was “seeking safety” from the gangers who reportedly had been chasing him – an incident that reportedly prompted the initial police call.
“We love him and we’re going to miss him so much,” his mother said. “The world is going to be a worse place without him.”
Published with permission of the Native Sun News