Michael Cummins, 25, was captured and taken into custody Saturday night. He is the suspect in the investigation into the discovery of five bodies in two homes. The suspect was apprehended about a mile away from one of the Sumner County crime scenes Tennessee Bureau of Investigation spokesman Josh DeVine said. Sumner County is northeast of Nashville and borders Kentucky. The slayings were near the town of Westmoreland.
An officer shot the suspect Cummins after he emerged from the treeline of a wooded area. He was flushed out near a creekbed. Cummins is believed to have produced multiple weapons and the situation escalated, DeVine said. Cummins is being treated at a local hospital for what are believed to be non-life-threatening injuries, DeVine said.
None of the responding officers were injured. TBA is still trying to gather the specific sequence of events as they unfolded. Police are unsure if he made any contact with others while on the run.
TBI’s airplane was able to help authorities spot Cummins on the ground in a creek bed, DeVine said.
At the request of 18th District Attorney General Ray Whitley, TBI Special Agents continue to investigate the circumstances surrounding the homicides, along with the officer-involved shooting of the suspect.
TBI Agents began investigating the deaths on Saturday evening, shortly after authorities, responding to a 911 call. A family member called police after finding the bodies of four individuals in a home in the 1100 block of Charles Brown Road. Police also found a fifth, injured victim at the scene, and medics transported the individual to the hospital. Authorities soon learned of a second scene. The fifth body was found at 1500 block of Luby Brown Road. Efforts to identify the victims and notify their appropriate next-of-kin remain ongoing. The bodies will be sent to Nashville for autopsies.
A number of law enforcement agencies had been searching for Cummins, saying he could be armed and dangerous.
“The community should hopefully be able to rest a little bit easier tonight, knowing that (Cummins) is in custody tonight,” DeVine said.
The TBI believes the two scenes are related. More than a dozen law enforcement officers from the county’s joint SWAT Team went to that location, where they encountered Cummins. During the coordinated search by law enforcement agencies from across the region, TBI employed its aircraft. As many as 100-150 law enforcement personnel were involved in the search for Cummins on Saturday night, according to TBI spokesman Josh DeVine. The situation escalated, for reasons under investigation, and resulted in at least one officer firing his service weapon, striking Cummins. Authorities have not said what kind of weapon was used.
TBI Agents and Forensic Scientists are continuing to investigate the deaths and the officer-involved shooting, DeVine said.
Efforts to identify the motive in the homicides, along with Cummins’ relationships with the victims remains ongoing. All investigative findings will be forwarded to the District Attorney General for his further review and consideration.
The TBI does not identify the law enforcement officers involved in these types of incidents. TBI refers questions of that nature to their respective departments.