Grammy-Winning Nashville Hitmaker Mark Capps Killed by SWAT Team After Allegedly Holding Family at Gunpoint
Grammy-winning Nashville mix engineer and producer Mark Capps, whose career in music spanned 35 years, was shot and killed at his home on Thursday (Jan. 5) after a SWAT team reportedly responded to a complaint that he had held his wife and stepdaughter at gunpoint.
Variety reports that 54-year-old Capps had outstanding warrants for aggravated assault and aggravated kidnapping at the time of his death. Metro Police spokesman Don Aaron says in a statement that Capps forced his 60-year-old wife and 23-year-old stepdaughter into their family room at gunpoint at around 3AM and “told them if they called someone, he would kill them," adding that they were "extremely frightened."
Capps reportedly fell asleep near dawn, and his wife and daughter fled the home and went to a nearby police precinct to file a report. A SWAT team was dispatched after warrants were issued at 1:55PM, and shortly after, they arrived at Capps' home, where he confronted officers by brandishing a gun in the doorway. A SWAT team member opened fire and killed him at the scene after determining that his actions constituted an immediate threat, according to Aaron.
Aaron's YouTube statement, which is age-restricted because it shows potentially disturbing footage of the confrontation and its aftermath, goes on to say that Capps' wife and daughter had told police that he had threatened to shoot not only them, but any police officers who might show up.
Authorities subsequently found that Capps had cameras monitoring the outside of his home, Aaron told reporters according to Nashville's News Channel 5. Aaron states that the approaching officers were clearly marked and identified as members of law enforcement in SWAT gear.
Capps' website lists a long and impressive roster of all-star clients, including Alabama, the Chicks, Amy Grant, Brooks & Dunn, Chris Young, Aaron Tippin, Conway Twitty, Joe Diffie, the Oak Ridge Boys, Big & Rich, John Michael Montgomery, Kenny Rogers, the Mavericks, Anita Cochran, Olivia Newton-John and more country acts, as well as a string of artists from other genres outside of country. He won Grammy Awards for Best Polka Album for his work with Jimmy Sturr & His Orchestra in four successive years, from 2005-2008.
Capps came from a prominent Music City family; his father was Jimmy Capps, the longtime Grand Ole Opry guitarist, famed session player and Musicians Hall of Fame member who died in 2020. According to Capps' final post on Facebook, dated Jan. 3, his brother had also died just prior to his fatal shooting.
An investigation into the shooting will determine if responding officers acted appropriately.
A number of Capps' musical friends and collaborators were among those who turned to social media to express sadness and disbelief at the circumstances of his death, with some openly questioning why the situation wasn't treated more delicately as a mental health crisis: