Second Suspect Arrested in Connection With Murder of Nashville ICU Nurse

A Tennessee man was arrested on Tuesday in connection with the death of a Nashville ICU nurse who was fatally shot while heading to her job late last year, police said.

Authorities identified the suspect in a press release as 28-year-old James Edward Cowan, who was wanted for the Dec. 3, 2020, murder of 26-year-old Caitlyn Kaufman and has had an arrest warrant issued since Jan. 5 on criminal homicide charges.

Cowan was apprehended by Metro Nashville Police Department officials while he was parking his vehicle at an apartment complex in Antioch, a neighborhood about 12 miles southeast of Downtown Nashville.

“Agents surveilled the car as it traveled to the apartment complex from a Sidco Drive motel,” according to the release. “It is suspected that Cowan had been staying at the motel for the past few days.”

“Recovered from the vehicle after Cowan’s arrest were 2 pistols, one-half pound of marijuana and 5 grams of a white powder,” authorities said.

According to online jail records from the Davidson County Sheriff’s Office, Cowan is facing a dozen charges, including criminal homicide.

Cowan is alleged to have been with 21-year-old Devaunte Lewis Hill when shots were fired from their vehicle into Kaufman’s car. Hill was arrested on Dec. 11, 2020, Metro Nashville Police Chief John Drake told reporters during a press briefing at the time.

NTD Photo
Caitlyn Kaufman, 26, an ICU nurse at the St. Thomas West Hospital in Nashville, Tenn., in a file photo. (GoFundMe)

Hill is being held at the Nashville Downtown Detention Center and is also facing a criminal homicide charge.

Kaufman was on her way to St. Thomas West Hospital on the night of Dec. 3, 2020, when shots were fired into her Mazda CX-5 SUV, police said in a statement obtained by The Associated Press.

Shortly before 9 p.m. that evening, a Metro Parks officer spotted a vehicle against the guard rail of Interstate-440 and stopped to provide assistance thinking it was a crash site. He then found Kaufman inside the vehicle with gunshot wounds and alerted authorities.

Kaufman was pronounced dead at the scene, police said. She was due at work at 7 p.m. and authorities say they think she was shot in the hour beforehand.

“She had a great work ethic,” Kaufman’s mother said in a GoFundMe fundraiser set up in support of her daughter’s memorial fund. “She was studious, she was determined and she was truly just a beautiful person from the inside and outside.”

Kaufman was an award-winning nurse and had worked on the frontlines during the pandemic, caring for COVID-19 patients.