DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – A SWAT standoff that began Saturday night ended with the arrest of a murder suspect hours after he fatally shot a woman in the head, according to the Daytona Beach Police Department.
At about 7 p.m. Saturday, Craig Kendrick, 46, and Denise Jennings, 61, were arguing over personal issues when a pizza deliveryman heard the fight, followed by a gunshot, police said. He then saw Kendrick drag Jennings by her hair to the back of the house, according to police.
Once officers arrived, they said Kendrick went back into the house and blocked himself inside. Officers then surrounded the residence. As the officers walked around the house, they were able to see clear signs of a fight with blood and drag marks on the ground, according to a news release.
Police then found Jennings in a wooded area behind the house. Officers moved her to a safe location believing she was still alive. First responders treated her but pronounced her dead at the scene. Jennings had a gunshot wound on her head from a small gun, according to authorities.
A witness said that Kendrick and Jennings had been arguing all day but the relationship between the two is unclear.
SWAT officers and hostage negotiators were then called to the house not knowing if anyone else was inside. Kendrick would not talk with the SWAT team and refused negotiators' attempts to communicate with him.
"My main concern is my officers out there with a barricaded suspect with a gun in a house, so the goal is to get him out and get him in custody and get the pieces together and wrapping this up," Daytona Beach Police Chief Craig Capri said Saturday night.
At 11:20 p.m., SWAT officers threw multiple cans of tear gas into the house, which had no affect on Kendrick.
A bomb/explosives squad robot from the Volusia County Sheriff’s Office was used to break open the front door and go into the house around midnight to search the home.
The robot was unable to access one of the rooms, so SWAT members went to that room from the outside. At 1:20 a.m. Sunday, Kendrick was taken into custody.
He was arrested on a first-degree murder charge and is currently being held at the Volusia County Jail