Husband, suspect in the apparent crime, later dies; daughter critically injured
Metro Nashville police are investigating a Hermitage fire that killed one person and critically injured two others as a murder-suicide, according to police officials.
Suzanne Daugherty, 48, was killed in the fire. Police officials said her husband, Gary Daugherty, 55, and the couple’s 9-year-old daughter, Crystal Daugherty, were both injured in the fire.
Police said they considered Gary Daugherty as a suspect in the apparent crime, however, Gary Daugherty later died.
According to Wilson County schools officials, Suanne Daugherty worked at West Elementary School’s daycare.
According to police officials, the Nashville Fire Department responded to the home on Leesa Ann Lane at about 12:13 a.m. Friday after a neighbor reported the house was on fire.
Suzanne Daugherty was found dead in one room, and police officials said she suffered from obvious trauma unrelated to the fire. Gary and Crystal Daugherty were found together unresponsive in a bedroom with severe fire-related injuries.
Through their investigation, police and fire officials discovered an accelerant was used throughout the home. Plastic was taped over the windows, and the home’s smoke detectors were apparently disabled.
Handwritten contact information for extended family was found in a vehicle parked outside the home, according to police officials.
The police’s department’s domestic violence division and the Nashville fire marshal’s office are assisting with the investigation. The police department had no previous reports of domestic violence incidents with the family.
Suzanne Daugherty worked with the Wilson County school system since 2011, and Crystal Daugherty was a fourth grade student at W.A. Wright Elementary School. Counselors will be made available for students and staff, who are distraught over the news of the incident, according to school system officials.
“It’s always a sad day when something happens to a member of our school family, and the circumstances surrounding this situation have made it even more difficult,” said Donna Wright, director of schools. “Our thoughts and prayers go out to Suzanne’s extended family as they process this horrible tragedy.”
By Jake Old