NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — More than $30,000 has been raised to assist the family of MICU nurse Caitlyn Kaufman, a Saint Thomas West Hospital nurse who was shot and killed on Interstate 440 while heading to work on Thursday, Dec. 3.

Caitlyn Kaufman was driving to work the overnight shift at the hospital when someone opened fire on her SUV Thursday night. She was just 26 years old.

On Monday, Caitlyn’s devastated mother Diane joined investigators at a news conference. Clutching her daughter’s hospital ID badge, she pleaded for help finding the person responsible for her daughter’s murder.

Fighting back tears, Diane Kaufman spoke directly to the community her daughter dreamed of working in.

“All I’m asking is that the Nashville community that she loved so much come together and help us find who did this to my daughter,” said Kaufman, “I’m reaching out to you and pleading out as her mother to help me find out who did this to my daughter.”

“Caitlyn was selfless. She was full of life. She lit up a room as soon as she walked into it. she had a contagious laugh, she beautiful blue eyes. a heart of gold and she found the good. Caitlyn was a very loyal person. When you had the opportunity to be welcomed into her small circle, she was loyal to her forever. You were now her family. Not just friends, you were her chosen family. She’s sorely missed,” continued Diane Kaufman.

Investigators determined Caitlyn was killed between 6:05 p.m. and 6:10 p.m. when at least six gunshots were fired into her SUV. The fatal shot entered Caitlyn’s left shoulder and killed her within 15 seconds, according to the medical examiner.

Authorities believe she died too quickly to attempt to call 911.

Diane Kaufman spoke to Caitlyn minutes before she was killed. She has a message for Caitlyn’s killer.

“Why did you do that to her? She didn’t deserve it. I can’t wrap my head around it. I don’t know how someone can take another person’s life like that. She was on her way to work. It wasn’t like she was doing anything maliciously,” continued Diane Kaufman.

“The death of Caitlyn is a tragedy, not only for her family, but for the city and for her team at St. Thomas West Hospital. We’re grateful for the strength of her mother, Diane, who traveled her from Pennsylvania. Ms. Kaufman, we grieve with you and we’ll do all we can to find the perpetrator,” said Metro Police Chief Drake.

There are multiple ways you can donate to help the family of Kaufman.

Currently, there are two GoFundMe fundraisers going with proceeds from both going back to the family. One is set up by relatives of Caitlyn, the other set up by coworkers of Caitlyn’s mother, Diane.

Additionally, checks can be made payable to the Caitlyn M. Kaufman Memorial Fund set up at NexTier Bank in Pennsylvania. Mail checks to:

NexTier Bank
Caitlyn Kaufman Memorial Fund

20249 Route 19
Cranberry Township, PA 16066

Anyone with information on this crime or other crimes can call Nashville Crime Stoppers at 615-74-CRIME or you can submit a tip online by clicking here. You may be eligible for a cash reward up to $1,000.