Video Shows A Nashville Police Officer Fatally Shooting A Man Who Was Running Away From Him
Police said that the 25-year-old victim, Daniel Hambrick, was carrying a gun when the officer shot him several times.
Tennessee authorities are investigating the fatal police shooting of Daniel Hambrick, a 25-year-old black man, who was seen running away when he was shot and killed by a Nashville police officer, according to surveillance video.
The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI) is investigating the July 26 shooting that prompted outrage in the community and calls for justice from Hambrick's family.
The surveillance video released by the Nashville district attorney Wednesday shows the officer shooting Hambrick in the back several times as Hambrick was running away from him. Police say that Hambrick was carrying a gun during the encounter.
The officer who fired the fatal shots was identified as 25-year-old Andrew Delke, who graduated from the police academy in December 2016 and was assigned to the Metropolitan Nashville Police Department's (MNPD) Juvenile Crime Task Force.
Delke was placed on routine administrative assignment and would remain off street duty pending the outcome of the investigation and assessment by the district attorney general, Metro Nashville police spokesperson Don Aaron told the Washington Post.
Aaron did not respond to BuzzFeed News' request for comment.
Authorities said the incident — which occurred at around 7 p.m. on July 26 — began when Juvenile Crimes Task Force officers were searching for stolen vehicles and spotted a car "traveling in an erratic pattern."
The TBI said that an officer attempted to stop the vehicle, but the driver fled the area.
Delke then encountered the three male occupants of the vehicle in the parking lot of an apartment complex a short time later. The TBI said that the surveillance video showed the three men exiting the vehicle as Delke entered the parking lot.
Hambrick — who was likely the driver of the vehicle — then turned and ran from Delke, according to the TBI.
The video appears to show Delke pursuing Hambrick on foot with his service gun drawn. According to the TBI, Hambrick appeared "to have a dark-colored object in his hand" during the chase.
"The situation escalated further, for reasons still under investigation" which resulted in the officer firing his weapon several times, according to the TBI. The video shows that as Hambrick continues to run away from Delke, the officer takes a shooting stance and fires his weapon several times at Hambrick's back.
Medics then transported Hambrick from the scene for medical treatment, and he died a short time later, the TBI said. No law enforcement officers were injured in the incident.
Police said they recovered a handgun from the scene that Hambrick had been carrying.
The TBI said that the video did not capture the entire incident and there are ongoing efforts to determine if additional video exists.
Aaron said the Metro Nashville police maintains that Hambrick had a gun during the incident, the Post reported.
"No mother should ever have to bury her 25-year-old child and our police should only be required to make a snap decision to discharge their weapons when absolutely necessary," Mayor David Briley said after the video of the shooting was released.
Briley asked the Metro Nashville Police Department to conduct a "comprehensive review" of its policing strategies following the shooting.
"I have committed to that process with an open mind," Metro Police Chief Steve Anderson said in a statement.
Briley said it was important for the district attorney general, Glenn Funk, to release the video "for transparency." He said that while the video shed some light on the incident, "it certainly won't be the last information our community receives."
"This was a tragic event, and my prayers are with Mr. Hambrick's mother and the rest of his family," Briley said. "I don't know if there can be anything worse than losing your child."
The Nashville Fraternal Order of Police slammed the release of the video "without any narrative or context" and defended Delke's actions as "absolutely necessary and reasonable" under the "totality of the circumstances."
"To release the video without any narrative or context causes confusion in the community, the potential for further division between law enforcement and the people who serve it, and invites people to draw their own conclusions without any acts," James Smallwood, the president of the Nashville Fraternal Order of Police, said in a press conference.
Smallwood said that it was "not apparent from the video ... but factually undisputed" that Hambrick was armed with a 9mm Beretta pistol and that he refused to drop it despite Delke's repeated verbal commands to drop his weapon.
According to Smallwood, Delke told Hambrick that he would fire at him if he did not drop his weapon.
"Had he dropped his weapon and just kept running, the conclusion of the incident would be much different than what we are faced with today," Smallwood said. "I am confident that Mr. Hambrick would be alive."
I just want justice for my son," Hambrick's mother, Vickie Hambrick, said during a press conference on Wednesday. "That's all I'm asking. And for all the young black guys and young women, I want justice for them."
"He was a great child," Vickie said. She also demanded an apology from the Metro Nashville police chief.
After reviewing the video with Hambrick's mother and family, the Nashville NAACP called on authorities to fire Delke immediately and charge him with murder.
NAACP members also called on the FBI to start a civil rights investigation into the shooting and demanded that federal authorities conduct a review of the Metro Nashville Police Department.
The Hambrick family's attorney, Joy Kimbrough, denied the police's allegation that Hambrick was in a stolen car, saying that the car belonged to a family friend.
Kimbrough said Hambrick's mother "took it hard" after seeing the video of her only child "being gunned down."
Kimbrough said that Delke shot Hambrick in the back of his head and that he was struck by three of the four bullets that the officer fired.
"If there's ever a case of premeditated first-degree murder, this is it," Kimbrough said. "[Delke] stops and takes his time and makes sure he gets a good shot," she said.