Family mourns loss of Nashville nurse killed on her way to work

Posted at 7:24 PM, Dec 05, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-07 10:44:45-05

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — As the investigation into the murder of a Nashville nurse continues, her family is mourning her death.

Someone shot and killed 26-year-old Caitlyn Kaufman on Interstate 440 as she was driving to work Thursday night.

Kaufman was a nurse at St. Thomas West Hospital working hard during the pandemic. Her shift at the hospital was set to begin at 7 p.m.

Her family described Kaufman as someone who always put others first. The tragedy still doesn't make any sense to her family.

"I helped raise her as a little kid up until she was a teenager and then she helped raise my kids," said Kaufman's cousin Kristin Hertweck. The two grew up together in the small town of Chicora, Pennsylvania.

Kevin Eck, Hertweck's fiance, says Kaufman could light up any room.

"From the first time meeting her she always had a smile on her face and it was just infectious with her personality," Eck said. "She was very outgoing."

Kaufman always wanted to be a nurse. She knew that's what she wanted to pursue even before graduating Butler Senior High School in 2012. Hertweck said Kaufman moved to Nashville two years ago to continue pursuing that dream.

As someone who always wanted to save people's lives, her family says they were devastated to find out hers was taken away so soon.

"There's nothing she could've done to ever bring this upon herself," Eck said. "She was a good person all around."

Police are now asking for the public's help in identifying who is responsible for the shooting.

According to police, a Metro Parks officer saw a Mazda SUV on the right shoulder of the road against the guard rail of I-440, between the Hillsboro Pike and West End Avenue exits.

That officer stopped to help, assuming the driver had crashed. Inside the SUV, the officer found Kaufman.

If you were traveling in the area of I-440 between Hillsboro Pike and West End Thursday night, between 6 and 6:30 p.m., and think you may have seen something it's very important you give police a call at 615-742-7463.

A gofundme page has been set up. Click here for the link.