April 28 (Reuters) ― A suspect in the killings of seven people in rural Tennessee was shot and captured by police after an hours-long manhunt triggered by the discovery of the bodies in two separate homes, authorities said on Sunday.
Dozens of people gathered to commemorate the victims on Sunday evening at a Methodist church in Westmoreland, a town in the area where the shootings occurred, according to Nashville television station FOX 17.
At least two victims attended the church, which had a sign for the vigil that read: “We are mourning with you.”
The suspect, Michael Cummins, 25, was in custody after suffering non-life threatening injuries during his arrest on Saturday night, the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation said in a statement.
The search for the suspect began on Saturday evening after an emergency call led police to four bodies in a home in Sumner County, about 25 miles northeast of Nashville along the Kentucky border. A fifth body was found in a nearby home, and authorities acquired information that suggested Cummins was the prime suspect in both cases, the bureau said.
Investigators found two more bodies at the first crime scene on Sunday, the bureau said.
“This brings the total to seven deaths and one critical injury,” the statement said. “Efforts to identify the victims remain ongoing at this time.”
A young girl was among those killed, Sumner County District Attorney Ray Whitley told the Nashville Tennessean.
Cummins was found after authorities, using aircraft, spotted someone in a creek bed around a mile from the first crime scene. At least one officer fired at Cummins, wounding him. No officers were hurt.
It was not immediately clear what relationship, if any, Cummins had to the victims.
(Reporting by Joseph Ax, Keith Coffman and Alex Dobuzinskis; Editing by Lisa Shumaker and Peter Cooney)