What We Know So Far About The 7 Sumner County Homicides
The seven people found dead in Sumner County over the weekend include the father, mother and uncle of the suspect.
The other four victims' relationship to the suspect is still unclear, authorities said at a press conference Monday morning. The suspect, 25-year-old Michael Cummins, remains in custody.
Law enforcement discovered the incident Saturday following a 911 call. They located several people dead near the small town of Westmoreland, about an hour northeast of Nashville. They also learned of a second scene nearby, where another person had been killed.
TBI Director David Rausch said the bodies may have been there for at least a day.
“I want to help you understand that it is not only complex but horrific,” Rausch said of the scene. “Gruesome, I guess, would probably be the best adjective to use to describe it.”
In fact, after an hours-long manhunt that ended with law enforcement tracking Cummins down in a creek bed, authorities continued to find bodies. By Sunday afternoon, the total death toll had risen from five to seven. One other person — also identified as a relative of Cummins — is in critical condition.
According to the TBI, the victims identified are:
Cummins has not yet been charged in the case. Currently, he's in a hospital with non-life-threatening injuries, after at least one officer fired at him during the manhunt. The TBI says it's investigating the officer-involved shooting, as well as the seven deaths.
Suspect Had Previous Record
Michael Lee Cummins has a criminal history in Sumner County, and he was still on probation from a prior conviction when authorities chased him down Saturday.
His criminal record dates back to 2012, when Cummins was convicted of simple drug possession. A year later, he was convicted in an assault case and found guilty of violating his probation and a protective order, although details about those cases were not immediately available.
Charges against Cummins escalated in 2017. He was found guilty of theft and evading arrest in a February incident, and found guilty of a May domestic assault.
Then in September, he tried to burn down his neighbor’s house, according to court records. Authorities who rushed to the house on Charles Brown Road that morning — close to where six of the bodies were found this weekend — said they found a small fire burning beneath a mobile home.
The female resident said she’d smelled smoke and was then knocked down by Cummins when she came outside to extinguish the flames. She said he was armed with a revolver that day.
Authorities who arrested Cummins said he made two clear threats in the aftermath, saying that he would repeat the incident or "finish the job" if he got out of jail. Cummins was convicted of attempted aggravated arson and aggravated assault and sentenced to 10 years in prison.
But he got out much sooner.
On Jan. 24 of this year, a judge placed Cummins on probation for 10 years, ordering him to stay away from the neighbor and undergo a mental health evaluation. Records indicate Cummins was living about a mile away from his prior home at the time.
This is a developing story and will be updated as needed.