Nashville officer indicted for first-degree murder in deadly shooting

Officer Andrew Delke and Daniel Hambrick-FOX 17 News

A Nashville officer has been indicted for first-degree murder in a deadly shooting.

Metro Officer Andrew Delke is charged in the July killing of Daniel Hambrick. Metro Police said Delke saw Hambrick holding a gun and then shot him in the back during a foot chase.

The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation said that video showed Hambrick was fleeing from police and had a "dark object" in his hand. TBI said Officer Delke fired "several times" at Hambrick and then officers "immediately rendered aid."

A Grand Jury of 13 Davidson County residents indicted Delke on Friday. The case moves on to Davidson County Criminal Court.

Officer Delke's attorney David Raybin responded to the indictment, saying Delke will enter a plea of not guilty to the charge.

"I understand that the District Attorney has obtained an indictment from the Grand Jury," Raybin said. "Officer Andrew Delke will continue to defend himself on the basis that he acted in accordance with his training and Tennessee law in response to an armed suspect who ignored repeated orders to drop his gun. Officer Delke appreciates the outpouring of support he has received from members of the community who understand the difficult and often life-threatening situations faced by our police officers every day. While no citizen looks forward to a trial on allegations such as this, Officer Delke and his defense team will trust in the jury system. We will enter a plea of not guilty to this charge."

Metro Councilwoman Sharon Hurt said she respects the decisions made in a statement made on behalf of the Minority Caucus of the Metro Council.

"The Minority Caucus of the Metro Council is very aware that two lives are involved in this case. However, the decisions were based on what was understood to be factual and true. We respect the decisions made and certain that our community will be divided on this issue, however, we pray that it will in someway bring our community together -- especially when an injustice was dealt with in a fair and just manner."

General Sessions Judge Melissa Blackburn ordered the case be sent to a Grand Jury on Jan. 7. Blackburn wrote in her decision that she found "sufficient proof" to find probable cause that Delke committed criminal homicide.

Blackburn wrote that although Hambrick ran from Delke and that behavior was suspicious, "it did not justify the use of lethal force."

The judge wrote that claims made by either side could have been disputed with video - but critical parts of the foot chase were not captured and Delke was not wearing a body camera.

After the announcement that Delke's case would go to a Grand Jury, Officer Delke's attorney David Raybin said D.A. Glenn Funk has "declared a war" on the Metro Nashville Police Department.

But, Funk disputed that claim saying that this case is strictly "about Officer Delke and not the department as a whole."

Statement from the Fraternal Order of Police:

“Today’s politically-motivated charges against Officer Delke are no surprise given District Attorney Funk’s failure to allow this case to be viewed through a lens of transparency where all the facts can presented. Officer Delke lawfully defended his life after a convicted felon pointed a loaded, military grade semi-automatic weapon at him and refused commands to drop the gun. That’s not a crime; it’s what Officer Delke and every other police officer in America is trained to do to protect their life and others. As this process moves forward, we intend to ensure that Officer Delke gets the rigorous defense he deserves. We’re confident that, in the end, he will be cleared of these charges.”

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