Kaufman, a 26-year-old ICU nurse, was gunned down on December 3 as she was driving to St. Thomas West Hospital to work an evening shift. On Friday, Nashville police reported that they had taken into custody a suspect in the murder, 21-year-old Devaunte L. Hill. He had “implicated himself” during an interview after being arrested, they said, without providing details.
The police believe they have a strong case against Hill after finding a handgun that was a complete match to three shell casings recovered from the murder scene on I-440 highway. A lab test of the weapon was rushed to confirm that it was the murder weapon. The suspect’s phone also places him in the vicinity of the location on the night when Kaufman was killed.
The arrest, which was made by a SWAT team on Friday morning, followed a tip from a concerned citizen, who pointed to Hill as the perpetrator and explained where the nine-millimeter gun could be found. The breakthrough came on Thursday afternoon, hours after a group of anonymous business owners in Nashville offered a $50,000 reward for information about the murder.
The police said their investigation was continuing and may lead to more arrests. They would not speculate over the motive of the crime, but said they had confirmed that Kaufman and Hill didn’t know each other. Over the week the media had speculated that the killing was the result of a case of road rage.
According to WKRN, a local affiliate of ABC, Hill has an extensive criminal record. In 2016, when he was 16, he pled guilty to three counts of attempted criminal homicide. The shooting incident reportedly happened after his mother and grandmother attempted to wake him up for school. Hill is said to have hit his grandma, 12-year-old sister and six-year-old nephew.
Two months after the Tennessee Department of Children’s Services (DCS) returned him to his family in 2017, he was arrested for aggravated robbery near his home and put back into custody until his 19th birthday. Next year he was arrested for drug possession while, this year, he was charged with assault with bodily injury.
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