Seven people killed in Tennessee include relatives of murder suspect

Courtesy: CNN VAN, WZTV
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(CBS) - Officials say the seven people killed in two homes in rural Tennessee included the parents and uncle of the suspect. Law enforcement officials arrested 25-year-old Michael Cummins on Saturday about a mile away from one of the Sumner County crime scenes after an hours-long manhunt. Tennessee Bureau of Investigation Director David Rausch called the scenes "horrific" and "gruesome."

"It's unprecedented," Rausch said. "We're talking about a mass killing. Thank goodness we don't see this too often."

On Monday, TBI identified those killed as David Carl Cummins and Clara Jane Cummins, the suspect's parents; Charles Edward Hosale, his uncle; Rachel Dawn McGlothlin-Pee, whose relationship to him isn't clear; Rachel's 12-year-old daughter, Sapphire McGlothlin-Pee; and Rachel's mother, Marsha Elizabeth Nuckols. Another victim, Shirley B. Fehrle, was found in a separate home and has no known relationship to Cummins.

An eighth victim, another relative, remained hospitalized in critical condition.

"This is one of the worst things I've ever been involved with in Sumner County," said Sumner County Sheriff Sonny Weatherford during a Monday press conference. "I've never seen anything that would even come close to this."

Police said officers responding to a 911 call from a family member led to the original discovery of four bodies and an injured person at the first home. On Sunday, the TBI said in a statement the bodies of two more victims had been found at the home, and Fehrle's body was discovered Sunday. Authorities have said the two scenes are related.

Authorities have not released a possible motive or causes of death. Autopsies were still pending Monday morning.

Saturday, a state law enforcement airplane helped authorities spot Cummins on the ground in a creek bed, TBI spokesman Josh Devine said. At least one officer fired at Cummins after he emerged from the woods. Cummins is believed to have produced multiple weapons and the situation escalated. He was then taken to a hospital for treatment of what are believed to be injuries that aren't life-threatening, DeVine said.

None of the responding officers were hurt.

Cummins has a criminal history and pleaded guilty to aggravated assault and attempted arson last year for torching a neighbor's home and attacking her in 2017, reports the Tennessean. He allegedly threatened the woman that he would return to "finish the job," the paper reports.

He was sentenced to probation. The probation conditions reportedly included that he have no contact with the victim and that he undergo a mental health evaluation.

The paper reports Cummins had also been previously arrested for domestic incidents involving relatives. In 2013, he was charged with attempted assault after he allegedly threw things at his aunt and damaged her home, according to the paper. In 2017, he allegedly assaulted his grandmother as the woman was trying to stop him from stealing his mother's purse, the Tennessean reports. He reportedly pleaded guilty to a domestic assault charge and was ordered to attend domestic violence classes.

Cummins remains hospitalized, Devine said, and charges against him are pending.