Warrant: Wife suspected of shooting officer was found 'kneeling' near victim

Officer James "Chip" Smith was involved in a deadly domestic violence dispute...
Officer James "Chip" Smith was involved in a deadly domestic violence dispute in Sevier County Saturday. / Source: Red Bank TN Police Department(WVLT)
Published: Feb. 1, 2020 at 9:49 PM EST
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Investigators have released warrants that reveal the wife connected to the death of her husband, a Tennessee police officer, was found kneeling next to her husband after the shooting.

Sevierville police said a Red Bank police officer died after being shot in the abdomen during an alleged domestic dispute Saturday evening, February 1.

Police responded to a reported shooting around 7:20 p.m on the 3000 block of Winfield Dunn Parkway. Officers said when they arrived on the scene they found a man suffering what appeared to be a gunshot wound to the abdomen.

The victim was identified as James Smith, 41. Officials said Smith was transported to the University of Tennessee Medical Center where he was later pronounced dead.

Smith was an officer at the Red Bank Police Department in Chattanooga, according to SPD.

Officials said Smith's wife, 37-year-old Melissa Smith was arrested and charged with first-degree murder and possession of a handgun under the influence. She was transported to the Sevier County Jail.

According to police reports, the couple was from Soddy Daisy.

According to warrants, officers responded to the scene where they found Melissa Smith "kneeling down with her hands on [the victim's] stomach."

Warrants said that Smith told investigators that they were in a verbal argument "to the point that the male pulled the car into the parking lot." She also told investigators that the couple had been at a local distillery for about two hours before leaving and driving to the location.

Investigators said that Smith admitted to shooting the victim and that she smelled like alcohol.

A .380 handgun was recovered from the scene, according to warrants. Officials said the investigation is ongoing.

Smith as a court date set for April 24.

According to a Facebook post the Red Bank TN Police Department shared, Smith worked for the department for 15 years. He leaves behind a 14-year-old son. The child is currently in the care of his terminally-ill grandmother, WDEF reported. The Red Bank Police Department has set up a Go-Fun-Me for the child.

Copyright 2020 WVLT. All rights reserved.

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