KODAK, Tenn. (WATE) – The wife of a Red Bank police officer is charged with his murder after he died as a result of a shooting outside the visitor center in Kodak, according to Sevierville Police.
James Smith, 41, of Soddy-Daisy, Tennessee, was shot in the abdomen Saturday around 7:23 p.m. while at 3099 Winfield Dunn Parkway, Sevierville Police said in a news release. He was transported to UT Medical Center, but died Saturday night.
Charged with first-degree murder is 37-year old Melissa Smith of Soddy-Daisy, identified in the news release as his wife. She was taken to the Sevier County Jail.
A pistol was recovered from the scene and the investigation is ongoing, police said.
According to the Sevier County arrest warrant, Melissa Smith said that she and James had been drinking for approximately two hours prior to the altercation. The two were in a verbal altercation while driving that led to James pulling into the visitor center parking lot.
The two continued to argue outside the car before Melissa returned to the vehicle, retrieved a pistol and shot the victim, the warrant states.
In a press release, the Red Bank Police Department said:
“It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of officer James ‘Chip’ Smith. The Red Bank Police Department lost an outstanding officer and friend yesterday. Officer Smith was off-duty at the time.
“Our thoughts and prayers go out to officer Smith’s family during this difficult time. Officer Smith has many years of law enforcement service. He honorably and faithfully served this agency and community.
“He also served several other law enforcement agencies and communities including the Soddy-Daisy Police Department and Chattanooga Police Department. As a law enforcement officer, he devoted himself to protecting the citizens of these communities.
“For those that ever met him or know him, they know that he was kind and always willing to do anything to help you. His loss will leave a void at our agency and the law enforcement community.
“We want to take this opportunity to ask for everyone’s support during this very difficult time. Please keep his family, friends and fellow law enforcement family in your thoughts and prayers.”
Melissa Smith was arraigned Monday morning. Her bond was set at $1 million. Her next court appearance is set for April 24.
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