A Metro officer charged with murder told an investigator with the TBI that he felt if he didn’t shoot and kill a fleeing man armed with a weapon, he himself could have died.
The interview with decommissioned Metro Police Officer Andrew Delke was entered into evidence in the court file just a day after a judge ruled that the case should proceed to the grand jury.
Delke is charged with criminal homicide in the July 26, 2018 death of Daniel Hambrick.
Two days after the shooting, Delke was interviewed by a TBI agent, in which he discussed the moments leading up to the shooting of Hambrick.
“I said if I don't -- to myself, you know -- if I don't shoot him right now, I'm gonna die,” Delke said.
Delke described that after approaching a parked car that looked similar to a vehicle that had earlier been seen driving erratically, he saw a man with dreadlocks look in his direction with “rabbit eyes.”
“Immediately looked at me, and did what we call ‘rabbit eyes,’ something we learned in training where we he sees me, sees it's the cops, and immediately starts looking around for avenues of escape, figure out where he's going to run to,” Delke said.
Delke said the man, later identified as Hambrick, started running and wouldn’t stop.
Delke told investigations he quickly saw Hambrick pull a gun from his waistband.
“As he's pulling it out, I immediately, all my attention goes to the gun. It's immediately identified as an immediate threat,” Delke said.
Delke said he repeatedly yelled at Hambrick to stop running, and at that one point, Hambrick’s gun was pointed in his direction.
“I decided to take action to beat his action. I yelled at him one more time, ‘Drop the gun or I'm going to shoot you,’" Delke said.
Delke said he felt at that point that he was risking his life and the lives of other bystanders if he didn’t fire.
Delke said he shot Hambrick repeatedly, because of his training to shoot until the threat was neutralized.
In the hearing to determine if the case should proceed to the grand jury, district attorney Glenn Funk argued that Hambrick did nothing to threaten Delke.
“He didn't run towards him, he didn't wrestle him, he didn't strike him, he didn't threaten him, he didn't do anything to indicate any type of aggression,” Funk said.
Delke’s attorney, David Raybin, argued in court that Hambrick ran on purpose, to distract the officer from what the other two men in the parked car were doing.
“Hambrick was protecting these two other men, and acting as their decoy,” Raybin said.
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