The New York Police Department's Chief of Detectives, Rodney Harrison, posted about the incident on Twitter Tuesday and said the video clearly shows that Capers tried to walk away from the situation peacefully.
"Yesterday afternoon, police officers responded to 136 Deli & Grill on Springfield Blvd in Queens for a male shot," Harrison wrote. "As you can see in the video, the perpetrator, identified as Jeffrey Thurston, starts a verbal argument after the victim attempts to walk past him."
He added, "The 20-year-old victim, identified by police sources as Malachi Capers, brushed past the shooter, who was sipping a drink inside the 136 Deli & Grill on the corner of 136th St. and Springfield Blvd. in Laurelton just after 4:30 p.m. Monday."
The video shows Thurston hitting Capers in the arm as retaliation for the bump. The footage then cuts to Thurston looking at this cell phone before surprising Capers with a punch to the face.
After Thurston made a break for the door, Capers, who'd been a defensive end for Buffalo State in 2018, gave chase as the altercation moved outside of the deli.
Shortly after they both ran outside, Thurston pulled out a pistol and shot Capers before fleeing the scene.
Capers was reportedly taken to Jamaica Hospital and is still in critical condition, but is expected to survive, sources told The New York Daily News. The men were thought to be strangers and had no prior history.
Police are asking the public for assistance in tracking Thurston down. In the video shared by Harrison, Thurston's photo is included at the end of the clip.
Anyone with information that could lead to his location or arrest are asked to call Crime Stoppers at (800) 577-TIPS. All information will be kept confidential.