Seven people killed in string of rural Tennessee homicides, authorities confirm




 

NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Seven people, including a 12-year-old girl, were killed in a string of Sumner County homicides investigators linked to a local man with a history of violence.

The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation confirmed the increased number of victims Sunday afternoon.

Disturbing details of the crime and the suspect continued to emerge Sunday as the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation scoured two separate crime scenes in a densely wooded pocket of Sumner County near the Kentucky border.

Law enforcement was still blocking two roads near where the victims were found Saturday in two homes about a mile from each other.

Reports from the crime scene on Saturday night suggested five had been killed. The TBI said two other bodies were found later as agents continued their work.

An eighth victim was critically injured but survived.

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The TBI would not confirm the identity of any victims.

District Attorney Ray Whitley confirmed a young girl was among the dead.

"It's terrible," Whitley said in a phone interview. "About as bad as it can get."

Whitley would not say how any of the victims died. TBI spokesman Josh DeVine said the bodies had been sent for autopsies Sunday.

Suspect arrested after manhunt, motive still in question

The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation named Michael Cummins, 25, as a suspect and law enforcement took him into custody after a massive manhunt Saturday night. Cummins was shot by law enforcement while being captured, but he was in good condition Sunday.

Whitley said criminal charges were being finalized. In addition to the homicides, he said, there was evidence that Cummins stole a car.

TBI spokesman Josh DeVine said agents and forensic scientists were still working at both crime scenes.

DeVine said the victims' bodies had been sent for autopsies to determine the cause of death.

'Massive' manhunt for suspect: Man in custody after 5 found dead in rural Tennessee

The crime scenes are in a wooded, rural part of northeastern Sumner County between Westmoreland and Oak Grove communities. Six of the homicide victims were found at a residence in the 1100 block of Charles Brown Road. The seventh was found in the 1500 block of Luby Brown Road.

An eighth, injured victim was found at the home on Charles Brown Road.

Margie Hatton, who lives near one of the crime scenes, said she had left her home and stayed elsewhere Saturday night, when officers were still looking for Cummins.

"I didn't want to stay because they couldn't find him at that time," Hatton said in a phone interview.

The TBI has not released information about the victims, but the agency said there was reason to believe the two crime scenes were related. The TBI is working to identify a motive.

Suspect had violent criminal history

Cummins had an extensive criminal record in Sumner County, according to court records confirmed by Sheriff Sonny Weatherford.

He pleaded guilty to attempted aggravated arson and aggravated assault in Sumner County on July 19. A family friend said Cummins had tried to set a neighbor's home on fire.

Other guilty pleas included domestic assault in August 2017, evading arrest in April 2017, theft in April 2017 and probation violations, Weatherford confirmed.

Contributing: Nicole Young, The Nashville Tennessean

This article originally appeared on Nashville Tennessean: Seven people killed in string of rural Tennessee homicides, authorities confirm

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