Deputy says knife wasn't reason for shooting 19-year-old

Posted at 3:45 PM, Apr 18, 2019
and last updated 2019-04-18 16:46:56-04

FRANKLIN, Tenn. (AP) — A Tennessee deputy has testified that a knife had nothing to do with why he shot a 19-year-old suspect in January, despite initial reports to the contrary.

The Tennessean reports Williamson County Sheriff's Deputy Matthew Murphy testified Wednesday at a preliminary hearing that Dalton Elam of Florence, Alabama, acted like he grabbed something from his waist and then pointed his finger at the deputy like a gun.

The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation announced in January that the deputy shot a man who "displayed a knife" after fleeing a traffic stop, crashing and getting out of the car.

The agency clarified its official statement on the matter Thursday, saying that while witness statements and evidence indicate Elam had a knife, the deputy didn't see it before shooting the suspect.

Elam is jailed on multiple charges including reckless endangerment involving a deadly weapon.