Woman stabbed in parking lot of Sumner Regional Medical Center

Crime Tracker

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — A Nashville woman is behind bars in Sumner County accused of stabbing another woman multiple times outside the emergency room of Sumner Regional Medical Center.

It happened in the parking lot outside the E.R. around 3 a.m. Sunday. Officers were wearing body cameras as they approached 38-year-old stabbing suspect, Tara Cates.

By the time Gallatin police arrived, Cates had moved her car about 300 yards from the crime scene to a neighboring retail shopping center.

When officers arrived, she was in the passenger seat of her car and crying, telling officers that she drove up from Nashville because her boyfriend had been hurt and was at the hospital.

An officer asked Cates if she knew anything about a female that was stabbed. Initially, Cates didn’t answer the officer’s question when he also asked for her boyfriend’s name.

“You know I’m not going to tell you no names,” said Cates.

Later in the discussion with police, Cates explained her reason for being at the hospital.

“My boyfriend told me his best friends beat him up,” explained Cates.

Police say the East Nashville woman who claimed she once worked as a bouncer is accused of using a five-inch knife to stab a Gallatin woman seven times in the thigh and upper torso. Police say the 34-year-old victim’s lung collapsed and a major artery was almost cut in the woman’s thigh.

News 2 obtained surveillance footage outside the E.R. at Sumner Regional Medical Center. The video shows a car pulling up and two people getting out. Police say one of those individuals is the 34-year-old Gallatin woman who then proceeds to go to the driver’s side of Cates’ SUV.

According to police, Cates got out, armed with a knife, and within a few moments the two women were fighting. Police say Cates stabbed the victim multiple times.

Despite being stabbed and being a few feet from the emergency room entrance, the victim got back in her car and drove a few blocks from the hospital before she called for help.

“She had on a big sweat shirt. She had adrenaline flowing,” said Investigator Charles Cook of Gallatin Police Department, “According to her, she didn’t realize she was stabbed until about three blocks down the road, she said she felt warm fluid in her shirt. She stopped and checked and she was bleeding pretty severely.”

While interviewing Cates, officers asked her about the blood on her hand as well as inconsistencies in her story.

Officer: What’s on your hands?
Cates: What, my cigarette?
Officer: Are we going to keep playing games?
Cates: No, I got cut, I don’t know how.
Officer: you don’t know how?

According to investigators, the stabbing incident began earlier when the victim’s brother and Cates’ boyfriend reportedly got into an alleged fight. Police say Cates went looking for the man who fought her boyfriend and banged on his door late at night.

Police say the 34-year-old victim learned that Cates had banged on the door of the home where her mother also lives.

The victim was angry, called Cates, and the two agreed to meet in the parking lot of the E.R. where Cates is already reportedly waiting outside because her boyfriend had been injured and is inside receiving treatment.

According to investigators, Cates initially tried to say she was attacked in the hospital parking lot and pulled from the vehicle, but Cates was untruthful. Investigators now believe Cates got out of the vehicle when the victim approached on her own. Police say she was carrying the knife, which investigators say she then used in the attack.

“It started out with her trying to claim she was jumped, ganged as she put it. Initially she told me she was dragged out of the vehicle, but that is a lie,” said Cook.

On bodycam, you hear the officer probing deeper about the fight between Cates and the other woman.

Officer: What happened, was it just a fight?
Cates: Yes.
Officer: Who won the fight?
Cates: Well, obviously not me if I got ganged. But I ain’t got no blood dripping nowhere.
Officer: You got some blood on your hands there?
Cates: I guess I cut my finger when I was fighting.

Cates is in the Sumner County Jail charged with attempted homicide under a $750,000 bond.

Police say the victim was transferred to Vanderbilt University Medical Center where her wounds are considered non-life threatening.

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