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MTA Bus Driver, Fatally Shot By Baltimore City Police Officer, Remembered At Vigil

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Ritchie Rochelle 175x131 L Rochelle Ritchie
Rochelle Ritchie joined WJZ Eyewitness News in June 2012. Prio...
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BALTIMORE (WJZ) — An MTA bus driver is remembered by family, friends and coworkers after being shot by her lover, a Baltimore City police officer.

Rochelle Ritchie has more on the vigil.

The officer is now charged with first-degree murder, and Saturday night, friends remember their coworker as a caring and hardworking mother.

Kendra Diggs, a 37-year-old mother of two, is remembered at a vigil by coworkers who are still stunned at the tragic events of last week.

“My heart is hurt. Another sad incident,” said Riri Chance.

On May 6, two Baltimore City police officers were dispatched to a reported domestic dispute at Diggs’ home. Court documents show she shared the house with Baltimore City police officer, 49-year-old James Smith.

When officers arrived, Diggs could be heard screaming, “Help me, help me!” Officers kicked in the door, she was taken out of the home with blood dripping down her face. Moments later, a gun shot from the second floor of the home rings out. The bullet hits Diggs in the head, her body collapses to the ground.

The accused triggerman, Officer Smith, a 20-year veteran with Baltimore City Police. Diggs died at Shock Trauma.

“She was a caring person,” a friend said.

It is still unclear what the couple was arguing about.

Smith barricaded himself in the home with the couple’s 4-year-old son for five hours before finally surrendering to police. He is now charged with first-degree murder.

“We just gave it time. We just gave it time. We had our psychologist speaking with him and just trying to calm him down and calm down the scene,” said Baltimore City Police Commissioner, Anthony Batts.

Smith remains in jail.

Diggs’ brother spokepassionately at Saturday night’s vigil at the bus depot where his sister worked.

“If you give it to them, if you buy it, guns kill,” he said.

Diggs worked for the Maryland Transportation Administration for 13 years. Friends say they never heard of any problems between her and Smith.

“None, none at all. I guess I can only speak for myself. Every time I saw her she was always happy-go-lucky,” said Chance.

Diggs also had a 20-year-old son.

Investigators say Smith apologized for his actions during his arrest.

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