NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — The investigation is ongoing after a Saint Thomas West MICU nurse was shot and killed while driving to work on Interstate-440.
Caitlyn Kaufman was driving in to work the overnight shift at the hospital when someone opened fire on her SUV Thursday night. She was just 26 years old.
A Metro Parks officer discovered Kaufman’s gray Mazda CX-5 against the guardrail in the westbound lanes between the Hillsboro Pike and West End Avenue exits just before 9 p.m.
Kaufman was from the small city of Chicora, Pennsylvania, in Butler County. She was a student council officer and 2012 honors graduate of Butler Senior High School, according to the principal.
She was also a diver, a star performer on the school’s swim team, which she carried with her to college at Clarion University.
Kaufman’s family members are heartbroken.
“She was such a beautiful person. She was just loved by so many people and was there for everybody at any time that anybody needed her,” said Kristin Hertweck, Caitlyn Kaufman’s cousin.
“Every time you would see her she was always up beat, happy and never would let work or her personal life be affected by what she had to do,” added Hertweck’s fiancé Kevin Eck.
They have no idea who would be motivated to do this and why.
“We can’t understand how there is somebody out there that could do this to her. She loved what she did, being a nurse. She loved helping people,” recalled Hertweck.
Kaufman’s family are pleading for anyone with information to come forward.
“As far as right now, we are just standing by and waiting. Just hoping that if there’s anybody out there that has any significant information please come forward,” said Eck.
Detectives believe Kaufman was shot between 6 and 6:30 p.m.
Investigators are asking anyone traveling I-440 Thursday night during these times who may have seen something out of the ordinary to call Nashville Crime Stoppers at 615-74-CRIME.
A GoFundMe has been established to help the family. Click here to read more or donate.