Daytona Beach, FL – A 46-year-old Daytona Beach man is now in custody after police say he shot and killed a woman during an argument over his “personal issues”.
Craig Kendrick is charged with premeditated first-degree murder following an over six-hour standoff with police at his Maple Street home last night (March 31st).
Officers were called to the scene in Midtown just after 7 p.m., according to Daytona Beach Police Department Sergeant Kelsey Harris.
“The victim and [Kendrick] were outside [Kendrick’s home] in a physical altercation,” Harris stated. “A witness driving by heard a gunshot and observed [Kendrick] dragging the victim towards the rear of the house. The witness contacted law enforcement and provided a description.”
DBPD has since identified the victim as 61-year-old Denise R. Jennings, a woman who lived on Maple Street a few houses away from Kendrick’s home.
According to the redacted arrest report, Kendrick had been arguing with another person “all day long” before getting into an argument with Jennings, which ended briefly when she left to go buy beer and cigarettes at a store.
It’s not clear in the report what the argument was about.
It was soon after she came back, per the report, when Kendrick approached the front porch of Jennings’ home with a gun in his right hand and fired one shot.
First responders found Kendrick and Jennings in a wooded area behind his home, with Kendrick quickly barricading himself inside. Officers managed to pull Jennings to a safer location to get treatment, but paramedics weren’t able to save her, per Harris.
“The victim sustained a gunshot wound to her head from a small caliber firearm,” Harris noted. “Signs of an altercation was apparent as blood and drag marks [were] seen on the ground near the house.”
DBPD’s SWAT unit and hostage negotiators responded soon afterward to try and defuse the situation, but Kendrick refused to obey any of their commands or even talk to them for several hours. That’s when gas canisters were fired into the home, with a Volusia County Sheriff’s Office robot making its way in through the front door around midnight, according to Harris.
“After searching, the robot couldn’t fully access a room,” Harris added. “SWAT members then approached that room from the outside to port the window and assist the robot. Upon porting the window, [Kendrick] was contacted in the bedroom and detained without incident.”
Officers finally took Kendrick into custody around 1:30 a.m., sending him to Volusia County Jail soon afterward, where he’s held without bond until his first court appearance.
No one else was in the home at the time, per DBPD.
Investigators have said no body camera video or 911 audio of this incident will be publicly released.
VCJ records show Kendrick’s been booked there 11 other times since March 2004 on a variety of charges, including aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, cocaine possession, battery, obstructing law enforcement, false imprisonment, marijuana possession under 20 grams and driving with a suspended license.