An eighth victim remains in critical condition

By Chris Harris
April 29, 2019 01:55 PM
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Credit: GoFundMe

Seven people — including a 12-year-old girl — are dead after a what Tennessee authorities allege was a “mass killing” carried out by a 25-year-old man.

Suspect Michael Cummins is accused of going on the run after the killings, and he survived being shot by police on Saturday, officials from the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation said at a press conference. He is currently in the hospital.

Cummins has not yet been charged in connection with the deaths, but on Monday, the TBI identified the seven fatal victims.

Investigators, one of whom characterized the two crime scenes as “gruesome,” also said that once he’s recovered from his injuries, Cummins will be transferred to police custody to face charges.

Michael Cummins
| Credit: Tennesseee Bureau of Investigation

The TBI said Cummins killed his 52-year-old father, David Cummins, his 44-year-old mother, Clara Cummins, and his 45-year-old uncle, Charles Hosale, inside a home in Bethpage, Tennessee.

Their bodies were found on Saturday, along with the bodies of Rachel McGlothlin-Pee, 43, her 12-year-old daughter, Sapphire McGlothlin-Pee, and Rachel’s mother Marsha Nuckols, 65. It wasn’t immediately clear if Cummins knew these fatal victims.

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A short distance away, at a second home, police recovered the body of Shirley Fehrle. Detectives believe the 69-year-old woman was targeted at random.

An injured victim of the attack remains in critical condition.

Police would not disclose that person’s identity, but a GoFundMe page established to cover Cummins’ parents’ funeral costs states the hospitalized woman is Cummins’ elderly grandmother.

Authorities on Monday did not discuss the weapon or weapons used in the attacks, saying instead that the results of autopsies on the seven bodies were expected shortly.

It was unclear if Cummins has retained an attorney who could comment on his behalf.

The Tennesseean reports Cummins has an extensive criminal record, and that in 2017, he was arrested for attacking a female neighbor whose house he’d set on fire.

Because Cummins had a court-documented history of mental health issues, he was spared a 10-year sentence after pleading guilty to attempted aggravated arson and aggravated assault. Instead, he was placed on probation for 10 years and released from custody in January, despite vowing to return and “finish the job.”

On Saturday, Cummins was allegedly hiding in a creek bed, and as officers closed in to arrest him, he drew his weapon. The police responded by shooting at Cummins, who was struck by at least one bullet.

A motive for the deadly violence is not known at this time.