A Pine Bluff police officer allegedly shot a man inside her home Friday morning during an argument.
Lt. Denise Richardson, 43, allegedly shot Percy Smith, 49, in the chest, according to police reports on the incident.
Smith drove himself to Jefferson Regional Medical Center, where he remained at about noon Friday, according to an email from Arkansas State Police spokesman Bill Sadler.
Richardson described Smith as her boyfriend and said she was afraid he was armed with a pistol and was going to harm her when she shot him, according to one of the police reports.
Richardson has worked for the department for 20 years, according to a 2014 booklet produced by the department.
Police were notified of the shooting at about 2 a.m. Friday.
PBPD began the investigation, but it has since been turned over to special agents with the Arkansas State Police Criminal Investigation Division at the request of Prosecuting Attorney S. Kyle Hunter, Sadler said.
According to PBPD reports on the incident, police were dispatched to the scene and found Richardson in the front yard. She was crying and was upset. She told police, according to the report, “I shot my boyfriend in the chest.” She took the officer inside the house and showed him where the incident took place. The officer secured the weapon involved in the incident, a Glock 22.
Richardson told police, according to the report, that she had just let out the dog from a door at the rear of the house and the door was still open. She went to the couch and plugged in her phone when she noticed Smith coming in the rear door.
He walked over to her and they started arguing and he slapped the phone out of her hand, she said, according to the report. While he was standing over her, he had something black in his hand, she told police. When she went to get up, Smith put his hand on her face and shoved her head and body back into the couch with extreme force, she said, according to the report.
“Ms. Richardson said she knows Mr. Smith to carry a pistol and said she was in fear and afraid he had the pistol and was going to harm her,” according to the report. “She was able to pull her weapon out and fire one shot toward Mr. Smith hitting him in the chest area. She then ran out the front door and across the street where she called the police and hid behind a vehicle.”
Richardson told police she saw Smith get into his vehicle and drive off.
According to a supplemental report filed by a different officer who went to JRMC, Dana Smith spoke with police and said that her husband, Percy Smith, called her about the shooting and identified the shooter as Richardson. Officers spoke with Percy Smith, who told them he went to Richardson’s house “to talk about an event.
“He stated he was talking to her in the living room when she stated he was crazy,” according to the supplemental report. “Mr. Smith stated she then picked up her phone to make a call. He said he took the phone from Ms. Richardson and Ms. Richardson pulled out a gun and shot him.”
Pine Bluff Police Department spokesman Officer Richard Wegner confirmed that Richardson is on administrative leave with pay pending investigation of the incident. Wegner said PBPD will conduct its own internal investigation into whether Richardson followed department standards but only after the Arkansas State Police’s criminal investigation is complete.