A grand jury in Tennessee has officially indicted a white male police officer on first-degree murder charges for fatally shooting a Black man in the back as he ran away.

As Blavity previously reported, Andrew Delke, 25, stopped Daniel Hambrick, also 25, for "erratic driving" on July 26, 2018. Delke made the stop while allegedly searching for stolen vehicles. As Hambrick turned to flee the scene, Delke fired shots into his back, torso and head, effectively killing him. 

Delke claimed he fired because Hambrick would not surrender his weapon. A gun believed to be Hambrick's was recovered at the scene of the shooting.

Until his official arraignment later this month, Delke remained with the department on administrative duty, CNN reports. According to his lawyer, David Louis Raybin, Delke will plead not guilty to the first-degree murder charges. When the case goes to trial, Raybin said he plans to base his defense on the argument Delke was following his police training.

"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. 

The decision makes Delke the first Nashville deputy ever charged with fatally shooting a civilian, according to Nashville Public Radio. 

Delke is expected to appear in court for his arraignment before the end of January.

Blavitize your inbox! Join our daily newsletter for fresh stories and breaking news.

Now, check these out: