3 dead in triple stabbing in Bellevue - WKRN News 2

3 dead in triple stabbing in Bellevue

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. -

Three people were stabbed to death early Sunday morning in Bellevue and Metro police say a neighbor is responsible for the crime.

The murders happened just before 3 a.m. at a house on Beech Bend Drive off Old Harding Pike and Sawyer Brown Road, west of Nashville.

Officers responded to the home to find Michelle Pinkowski, 48, her mother, Marylea Jordan, 71, and Pinkowski's son, 14-year-old Jonathan Culpepper, dead.

A nine-year-old girl was also home at the time but escaped uninjured.

Police believe the man responsible is Craig Garber, the family's neighbor.  Garber, 41, suffered self-inflicted stab wounds and was taken to Vanderbilt University Medical Center where he underwent surgery.

Metro police spokesperson Don Aaron said Garber's condition was improving and said murder charges would be filed.

The stabbing occurred at 808 Beech Bend Drive.  Aaron said Garber lives just down the street at 816 Beech Bend.

In an attempt to discover a motive, police interviewed a neighbor Sunday who spoke about a GPS Culpepper reportedly stole.  Police are still investigating but said that could be the motive.

Aaron said Garber is emotionally unstable and on medication.

He answered the door to the family's home, covered in blood and told responding officers to kill him.

Police also received a call Saturday morning from the YMCA in Bellevue to do a welfare check on Garber.  Aaron said Garber called to cancel his membership and his conversation with YMCA staff prompted their call to police. However, Aaron said, during the check, Garber was determined to be fine.

Police have also learned Pinkowski and Garber were seen together Saturday night on Garber's front porch.

In the home Sunday morning, Pinkowski's body was found in the family's finished basement.  Officials believe Garber killed her first, before going upstairs to the boy's bedroom, where his body was found.

They suspect Garber then killed the grandmother in the boy's doorway.

Pinkowski's nine-year-old daughter witnessed at least one of the murders and was able to flee to a neighbor's home from where police were called.

Jason Zimmerman, the owner of the house the girl fled to, told Nashville's News 2 he grabbed his gun and ran over to the house as quickly as he could, but was not able to get inside.

"I grabbed my gun and ran as fast as I could," he recalled. "The way she was screaming and crying saying, 'He's killing her, he's killing her!' I just ran."

Zimmerman said the little girl is handling everything relatively well and is now in the care of her uncle.

Culpepper was a freshman at Hillwood High School.

Metro Nashville Public Schools said in a statement they were "deeply saddened to learn of the tragedy."

The statement continued, saying "a great family with great kids has been harmed by a terrible, senseless act."

The statement also said that counselors will be available to students when they return to class on Tuesday.

According to The Tennessean, Pinkowski struggled for years with drugs and struggled to keep the family together.

Neighbors and co-workers said though she worked hard to provide for her children, on two separate occasions, the kids were taken from her and put into foster care.

Jacki Allison lived between the victims and Garber.

She told Nashville's News 2 Monday, "Craig was a very kind person, believe it or not, despite what has happened here."

Allison said Pinkowski and Garber were friends.  She said there had been tension between them recently over her son and the two had been arguing on Saturday.

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