A Tennessee man was arrested in Nashville on Tuesday after stabbing to death his mother and sister-in-law, and critically injuring a second sister-in-law who shielded two young children from the "enraged" attacker, authorities said.
John Donaldson, 32, was taken into custody in a motel parking lot in West Nashville hours after the stabbings at an Elm Hill Pike apartment and a home on Hickorydale Drive, Metro Nashville Police said.
Investigators said Donaldson knocked on his mother’s apartment door around 11 a.m. and his 9-year-old nephew let him in. Donaldson entered "enraged" and attacked his mother, 56-year-old Jacqueline Pritchett, with a knife, fatally stabbing her.
Donaldson then began stabbing his sister-in-law, 29-year-old Genell Stewart-Tuggle, as she tried to shield the 9-year-old boy and Donaldson’s 7-year-old niece, police said. Stewart-Tuggle was critically injured and being treated at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. The children were unharmed.
After the stabbings, Donaldson allegedly stole his mother's Kia Forte and drove to his brother’s home on Hickorydale Drive, where he kicked in the door and found his 32-year-old sister-in-law in the bathroom.
Donaldson fatally stabbed her with a knife, according to investigators. Another 7-year-old niece was in the home at the time and unharmed.
After his arrest, Donaldson was taken to General Hospital for treatment of a hand laceration he apparently suffered during the attacks, police said. He was charged with two counts of murder and one count of attempted murder.
While investigators are working to determine a motive, detectives said they learned that Donaldson was recently told to stay away from his mother’s apartment.
Donaldson has a history of violent crime, with multiple past convictions, police said.
In 2019, he was convicted of domestic assault against a girlfriend, aggravated assault against a first responder, and aggravated burglary. He was handed two four-year sentences.
He was also convicted of robbery in 2017 and sentenced to three years in prison.
It was unclear how much time he served or when he was released.