NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — A tip from a concerned citizen led to the arrest of a Nashville man in connection with the murder of ICU nurse Caitlyn Kaufman who was shot and killed while driving to work Dec 3.
Metro Nashville Police Chief John Drake said SWAT members arrested 21-year-old Devaunte Hill at 6:15 a.m. Friday at his East Nashville apartment. Hill is being charged with criminal homicide.
Hill was taken into custody without incident. According to Drake, Hill made statements to the detectives that implicated him in Kaufman’s murder.
A concerned citizen came forward Thursday afternoon and identified Hill as a suspect and provided information on the whereabouts of the 9mm used in Kaufman’s murder, according to Drake.
Drake said detectives located the gun and forensic analysists determined it was a 100% match to the three shell casings found along I-440 the night Kaufman was killed.
Electronic experts were also able to determine Hill’s cell phone was in the vicinity of the murder scene the night Kaufman was killed.
The tip implicating Hill in 26-year-old Kaufman’s murder came into police within an hour of Thursday’s announcement that the reward for information had increased to more than $65,000. $50,000 of which was donated by a coalition of Nashville business owners and entrepreneurs.
“I understand many of those persons involved in the reward are dads who have families in Nashville and love Nashville deeply. I thank them for their contributions,” said Drake.
Kaufman was shot and killed on Interstate 440 Dec. 3 when when someone opened fire on her SUV while she was driving to work.
Investigators determined Kaufman was killed between 6:05 p.m. and 6:10 p.m. when at least six gunshots were fired into her SUV. The fatal shot entered her left shoulder and killed her within 15 seconds, according to the medical examiner.
Authorities believe she died too quickly to attempt to call 911.
Kathleen Murphy, Director of Government Affairs for the Tennessee Nurses Association says while Kaufman wasn’t a part of their association, frontline workers and nurses are a community.
“You know, to lose a nurse during this time is very difficult for the nursing community in this way, in any way and especially when she was on her way to work that just makes it a lot harder for her coworkers as well,” said Murphy.