Hillwood High School Mourns Loss Of Freshman - NewsChannel5.com | Nashville News, Weather & Sports

Hillwood High School Mourns Loss Of Freshman

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By Janet Kim

NASHVILLE, Tenn. - A mid-state school is in mourning after a freshman was murdered at his Bellevue home over the weekend.

14-year old Jonathan Culpepper was killed along with his mother, 48-year-old Michelle Pinkowski, and grandmother, 71-year-old Marylea Jordan. Their bodies were found inside their home on Beech Bend Drive early Sunday morning. Police said they were stabbed to death by a neighbor, Craig Garber.

Culpepper was a freshman at Hillwood High School. Tuesday started like any other day with announcements, but one was not easy to deliver.

"Today is truly a difficult time for our family, and we are family, we share with each other in our joy and in our pain and our sorrow," the announcement on the PA system said.

A moment of silence was held to remember the life of Jonathan.

His friends and teachers are still trying to understand why his life was cut short. The school had extra grief counselors on hand to help students deal with his murder.

"Anytime you have a senseless act like this then it's very disruptive to every one of their emotions," said Principal Steve Chauncy.

"And it took me a while for it to actually hit me," said fellow student Keil Ladd.

Metro Schools issued a statement that said "We were all so saddened by the tragedy in Bellevue this weekend. Our hearts go out to the family and everyone touched by them."

Donations for the family can be made to the Harpeth Valley PTO Burial & Benevolence Fund at Pinnacle Bank on Highway 70 in Bellevue.

Garber was friends with the family, but police have not determined what provoked the stabbings.

Garber also allegedly stabbed himself, and remained in critical but stable condition at Vanderbilt. Charges were pending.

Funeral arrangements for the victims are still being planned.

Pinkowski's 9-year old daughter was able to escape the home and call for help at a neighbor's home. She is staying with her uncle in Fairview. Grief counselors were also on hand at Harpeth Valley Elementary, where she attends.

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