James Smith, Baltimore police officer, charged in girlfriend's murder after hours-long standoff with police

James Smith
CBS Baltimore

(CBS/AP) BALTIMORE - James Smith, a Baltimore police officer, has been charged with first-degree murder in the fatal shooting of a woman that led to an hours-long standoff with his police department colleagues.

Police said Wednesday that Smith, 49, has been charged in the death of 37-year-old Kendra Diggs. According to CBS Baltimore, Diggs is Smith's girlfriend and the mother of his 4-year-old son.

Diggs was shot Tuesday afternoon, and police say Smith barricaded himself inside a west Baltimore home afterward. The 4-year-old child left the home during the standoff. It ended five-and-a-half hours later when police say Smith surrendered to hostage negotiators, the station reports.

According to CBS Baltimore, the incident began when police were called to a home on a report of a domestic disturbance. Court documents say the responding officers kicked in the front door after they heard a woman yelling for help.

Inside the home, Diggs was reportedly bleeding from a small wound to her face. When officers took Diggs outside to question her about what happened, Smith reportedly fatally shot Diggs in the head from a second-floor window.

Shortly after, SWAT teams convened on the area and evacuated neighbors as Smith locked himself inside the house, along with his 4-year-old son, according to the station.

It was hours later when negotiators secured the 4-year-old's release and later secured Smith's surrender.

After his arrest, he reportedly spoke to investigators and apologized for his actions.

Smith, a 20-year veteran of the department, is being held without bail.