Country Engineer Mark Capps, Son of Jimmy Capps, Killed by Police

Grammy-winning country music recording engineer Mark Capps was killed by SWAT team members of the Nashville Metro Police Department on Thursday, January 5th after an arrest warrant had been issued in his name for the alleged kidnapping of his wife and stepdaughter earlier in the day.

With scores of credits to his name for artists such as Dolly Parton, The Oak Ridge Boys, Ronnie Milsap and many others, 54-year-old Mark Capps was well-known throughout the country music community, and was the son of Grand Ole Opry legend and Musicians Hall of Fame member Jimmy Capps, also known as “The Man In Back” and the sheriff of Larry’s Country Diner. Jimmy Capps passed away in 2020.

The incident began when Mark Capps allegedly went on a tirade at his home in Nashville around 3 am Thursday morning, throwing things in the house and ultimately holding both his 60-year-old wife and 23-year-old stepdaughter at gunpoint, allegedly telling them that if they tried to call anyone, he would kill them. When Capps eventually fell asleep around sunup, the two women escaped with their pets to the Hermitage police precinct where they explained to police what happened.

Four total warrants were issued for Mark Capps for aggravated assault and kidnapping, and a request for a protection order was also processed. Due to the concern for the firearm Capps had allegedly used to threaten the two women and the presence of other firearms at the residence, Metro Nashville police chose to use the SWAT team to serve the warrants. According to Metro Nashville Police Department spokesperson Don Aaron, worried that Capps might barricade himself in the home, SWAT decided to conduct a “covert operation” outside the residence.

“As the SWAT members were on the front porch area of the home, he actually came to the door, opened the door with gun in hand,” Don Aaron explains. “At that point during that altercation or confrontation with the SWAT members, he was fatally shot.”

Police believe that Mark Capps might have been watching their movements on the house’s video surveillance system. Police do not believe Capps ever discharged his weapon. Police had never been called to this residence before, and there were no other incidents of domestic violence or disturbance involving the police between these parties previously.

In body cam video released by Metro Nashville police (not embeddable), a SWAT officer brandishing an AR-style rifle can be seen pointing it at the front door of the residence, and shouting through a storm door “Show me your hands!” before firing four shots. SWAT officers then enter the residence, continuing to shout “Show me your hands!” after Capps retreated into the house. There is also a picture of the pistol Capps was allegedly carrying.

As with all officer-involved shootings in Nashville, the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation will handle the investigation henceforth. “In the coming days, the TBI, and the District Attorneys Office will continue to investigate and analyze this incident,” says Metro Nashville’s Don Aaron in a video accompanying the body camera video.

With engineering credits tracing back to 1991, Mark Capps was a prolific studio engineer. Alabama, The [Dixie] Chicks, The Mavericks, Brooks & Dunn, Clay Walker, Elizabeth Cook, and The Isaacs are some other artists Capps worked with in his career. Capps was the mixing engineer on Dolly Parton’s most recent album, Run, Rose, Run. He was also a co-winner of Grammys for Best Polka Album in 2005, 2006, 2007 and 2008.

The brother on Mark Capps— Jeffery Allen Capps—had just passed away on January 3rd. Friends and co-workers of Capps shared concern over the incident as news of the shooting emerged on Thursday.

“I just can’t believe what I’m hearing, one of my dearest and closest friends and long time engineer Mark Capps has been killed,” says musician, producer, and composer Michael Spriggs. “I’m besides myself and stunned. How in the world could this have happened????? I’m reading text and simply not believing it could possibly be true, someone tell that it isn’t….”

More information on this story when it becomes available.

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