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Judge to decide Monday if Nashville officer-involved shooting case goes to trial

Metro Police Officer Andrew Delke (WZTV)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Lawful shooting or possible crime? The judge is expected to deliver a decision on a high-profile officer-involved shooting case on Monday.

Was Metro Police Officer Andrew Delke's life in danger when he shot and killed Daniel Hambrick in the back in July? Or, were his actions criminal? That is the decision in the hands of Judge Melissa Blackburn this weekend.

Saturday marked the second and final day of the preliminary hearing in a deadly, highly controversial officer-involved shooting case in Nashville.

Metro Police Officer Andrew Delke is charged with homicide, accused of shooting and killing Daniel Hambrick as he was running away, holding a gun.

Defense attorney David Raybin and Davidson County District Attorney General Glenn Funk both made their closing arguments this morning.

Raybin claims his client acted in self-defense.

"Three times he said 'drop the gun, drop the gun, drop the gun,' and then he squared off and said, 'drop the gun or I will shoot,' and it was now or never."

General Funk counters Hambrick was not the aggressor.

"The video shows Daniel Hambrick didn't do anything aggressive, he was doing everything he could to avoid a confrontation, he was running away as fast as he could, so fast he tripped."

The second day of the hearing focused primarily on the defense, with expert testimony from retired Metro Police Sergeant Robert Allen.

"There is really only a couple of ways to control Mr. Hambrick; one being verbal commands, 'drop the gun,' if he had dropped it, the situation would have been different probably, and the other is to threaten or use deadly force," said Allen.

Hambrick family attorney Joy Kimbrough says the last two days have been filled with painful moments for his mom, like the showing of photos taken during his autopsy.

"That's her son, she carried him nine months, it's very real to her, her son is gone for no reason, he's gone because Officer Delke could not catch him," explains Kimbrough, following the hearing's conclusion.

Now they Hambrick family is just relieved it's over, adding the last few days have felt like a "mini trial."

Judge Melissa Blackburn will hand in her decision Monday: whether this case will move forward and go to trial, or get dropped.

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