A man has been arrested in conjunction with the fatal shooting of 26-year-old Nashville ICU nurse Caitlyn Kaufman, which took place the night of December 3 and put the metro area on terrified edge.
Devaunte Lewis Hill, 21, was taken into custody on Friday, December 11, by the Metro Nashville Police Department. SWAT team members found the suspect at his apartment in East Nashville. He's now facing criminal homicide charges, and police are not yet certain if he acted alone or if there were other suspects involved, according to the Tennessean.
Nevertheless, Kaufman's mother, Diane, is happy Hill at least has been apprehended. "I have a gamut of emotions right now, but I’m so relieved," she told the outlet. "A part of me is so relieved they got him. I just get chills every time I think about it."
Kaufman had been shot on the highway while driving to an evening shift at the hospital she worked at. Police discovered her SUV on the side of the road, riddled with bullet holes and with her dead body inside. Investigators confirmed that the vehicle had been struck at least six times.
Kaufman died from a shot that entered her left shoulder, killing her very quickly and not leaving her any time to reach for her phone to call for help.
Police reported that Hill implicated himself in the slaying while being interviewed in custody, also confirming that Hill did not know Kaufman. His motive for shooting her is still up in the air.
The hospital that Kaufman worked at noted that she was a popular and hardworking nurse on staff. "She was a dedicated and much loved member of our MICU team and a courageous health care hero who was graciously called to serve our patients with compassion and kindness," a spokesperson said in a statement.
The victim's mother said in a news conference that her daughter had been living the life she'd always planned and hoped for when she was gunned down in cold blood. “Caitlyn’s dream was to live in Nashville, from the time she was in high school," Diane Kaufman noted. "She had a passion for nursing because she was a very caring individual."