Nashville Grand Jury Indicts Officer Andrew Delke On First-Degree Murder Charge | Nashville Public Radio

Nashville Grand Jury Indicts Officer Andrew Delke On First-Degree Murder Charge

Jan 18, 2019

A grand jury has indicted Metro Nashville Police Officer Andrew Delke with a charge of first-degree murder for the fatal shooting of Daniel Hambrick in July 2018. Delke's attorney says the officer will not plead guilty and will fight the charges at trial.

District Attorney Glenn Funk's office announced the decision Friday afternoon.

"The case will now proceed in the Criminal Court of Davidson County and, as it is a pending case, I will not be able to comment further about the facts and evidence," Funk said in statement.

This is the first time an on-duty Nashville police officer has been indicted for a fatal shooting, a police spokeswoman confirmed.

The indictment follows Judge Melissa Blackburn's decision earlier this month that there was probable cause to move the case to a grand jury. At trial, a jury would decide whether Delke could be held guilty "without a reasonable doubt."

More: Judge Rules Nashville Officer's Homicide Case Should Move Forward

David Raybin, one of Delke's attorneys, says the officer has gotten an "outpouring of support" from community members "who understand the difficult and often life-threatening situations faced by our police officers every day."

"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," Raybin said in a statement.

Case Winds Through The Courts

Delke shot and killed Hambrick on July 26, 2018, following a foot chase. Hambrick was carrying a gun. 

During more than six hours of testimony earlier this month, attorneys for Delke argued his actions were reasonable and that the officer had "abundant cause" to shoot Hambrick.

The lead prosecutor, Funk, argued the officer acted with intention to kill Hambrick. "Any person in Davidson County who shoots someone who is running away from them, shoots them in the back and kills them, needs to be held accountable," Funk said at the time.

The two sides disagreed on whether Hambrick pointed his gun toward the officer while running away.

This story was last updated at 3:30 p.m.