New details were revealed during a preliminary hearing Friday for the Metro-Nashville police officer accused of shooting and killing a man in North Nashville last summer.
Officer Andrew Delke faces a criminal homicide charge connected to the July 2018 death of 25-year-old Daniel Hambrick.
The preliminary hearing is the first major step since the officer was charged.
The prosecution, who says the shooting wasn’t justified, is trying to prove to a judge there is enough evidence to move forward with the criminal case.
Delke’s attorneys maintain Hambrick had a gun so the shooting was justified.
Emotions ran high when the prosecution played surveillance video that showed the moments leading up to the shooting and the shooting itself. Hambrick’s family was seen crying, shaking their heads and looking away as the video was shown.
Officer Delke looked down and didn’t watch as it played.
For the first time, Delke’s account of what led up to the fatal shooting as he chased Hambrick around the Henry Hale Apartments was revealed.
In an interview with the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, Delke said, “The gun had been pointed at me already. He’s refusing multiple commands to drop the gun even though I’m explicitly telling him what the consequences of him not dropping the gun is going to be. He’s refusing to do so. In my mind at that moment, I knew 100 percent his intent was to use that gun against me.”
During the interview with the TBI agent, Delke spoke numerous times about his training, including what he was trained to look for and do before using deadly force.
Hambrick’s autopsy shows he was shot three times in his back, side and back of the head. Pictures of Hambrick’s wounds were shown in court but were positioned in a way that his family could not see the images.
The prosecution also showed pictures taken by TBI agents to show Delke’s point-of-view as he chased Hambrick.
Delke said Hambrick turned his head and gave him “a targeting glance” while holding the gun during the chase and that he feared for his life.
The prosecution argued though the pictures show a spot during the chase unseen by surveillance cameras and they disprove the officer’s claims.
After several hours, the prosecution rested its case and the defense must now prove to the judge their belief that Delke was justified in shooting Hambrick.
The defense is using witness testimony to highlight Hambrick did have a gun in plain sight.
Friday’s hearing wrapped up around 6 p.m. and will continue on Saturday at 9 a.m. The judge in the case is not expected to make a decision until next week.