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A Texas mother who was about to watch her son join the US Naval Academy died after she was hit by a stray bullet outside an Annapolis hotel earlier this week.
Michelle Cummings, 57, from Houston, had driven to Annapolis with her husband Leonard to drop their son Leonard ‘Trey’ Cummings off at the US Naval Academy for his first year in what they believed would be the ‘proudest moment of their lives’.
Mrs Cummings and her husband, known as ‘Truck’, were on the patio of The Graduate Hotel when shots rang out at around 12.20am on Tuesday and Mrs Cummings was hit by a stray bullet, Fox News reported.
The mother was not the intended target of the shooting and police believe the shots were fired from an SUV parked on Pleasant Street. The motive of the shooting is unclear and no arrests have been made.
Michelle Cummings (pictured with son Trey and husband Truck), 57, from Houston, was shot by a stray bullet outside The Graduate Hotel in Annapolis at around 12.40pm on Tuesday
Floods of Ms Cumming’s devastated friends and family have been paying tribute to her, while her son Trey simply wrote on Twitter ‘why’ following his mother’s death.
The FBI and the AFT have offered a $20,000 reward for information leading to an arrest for those responsible for the mother’s murder.
Rachel Byrd, acting special agent in charge of the FBI’s Baltimore Field Office, said: ‘We not only owe it to the victim and her family, but we owe it to the entire community to see that anyone responsible for her death is not allowed to walk away.’
Governor Hogan says the state of Annapolis were adding another $10,000 reward, while Metro Crime Stoppers also announced an additional $2,000 reward.
Shawna Moore, whose son Marcus grew up with Trey, told Fox News’ The Story that it feels like a ‘bad dream’ and said she has been trying to console the family after their loss.
Ms Moore said she had spoken to the ‘excited’ mother over the phone just one day earlier, jokingly gloating that she was sitting with Ms Moore’s son, who hadn’t been home in a few weeks while at the Naval Academy.
Ms Cummings and her husband Leonard were dropping their son Leonard ‘Trey’ (all pictured) off at the Naval Academy in what they believed would be the ‘proudest moment of their lives’
She continued: ‘She knew how much I was missing him [her son], so she Facetimed me so I could see my son. She was giving him kisses and hugs for me. She was just so excited.’
Ms Moore said her face was ‘glowing’ and she was excited about the induction, which Mrs Cummings said she was going to share with her friend on Facetime, as she wasn’t able to make her own son’s induction due to Covid the year before.
Her son Midshipman Marcus Moore also told Fox 45 News that he had seen Ms Cummings on Monday when she arrived at the Naval Academy campus – just one day before she tragically died.
Paying his respects to Mrs Cummings, he said: ‘You took a woman who did nothing but good things. You took away a woman who was always happy. You took away a mom.’
Marcus, who has known Trey for more than 10 years after meeting in the 6th grade at Westfield High School, said Mrs Cummings was excited to be dropping her son off to start as a freshman at the Naval Academy.
Despite losing his mother, Trey continued with his induction ceremonies with his friend Marcus describing him as a ‘strong’ and ‘resilient’ individual for doing so.
Speaking about their loss, Marcus added: ‘It doesn’t seem real. One day she’s here. One day she’s gone.’
Tributes for the mother have been pouring in on social media following her death, with many offering their support to the Cummings family.
Shots rang out from a nearby street and Mrs Cummings (pictured) was hit by a stray bullet. The mother was not the intended target of the shooting, police said
The US Naval Academy tweeted: ‘Earlier today, the @AnnapolisPD identified the woman shot and killed earlier this morning as Michelle Jordan Cummings of Houston.
‘She was the proud mom of Midshipman Candidate Leonard Cummings III, a 2021 NAPS grad & incoming plebe (freshman) for the USNA Class of 2025.’
Vice Admiral Sean Buck said: ‘As members of our Naval Academy family, we will do all that we can to support Leonard, his father and the entire Cummings family during this unfathomable time.
‘My wife, Joanne, and I, on behalf of all of us here in Annapolis, offer our deepest sympathies.’
Southern University, where Michelle and her husband met, wrote: ‘We extend our love and condolences to the family of Michelle Cummings of Houston.
‘She and her husband, Leonard Cummings, met while they were both students here. We stand with every agency seeking justice in this very unfortunate case. #WeAreSouthern’
A GoFundMe page has been set up by Veranna Phillips, a Navy Class of 2025 Football mother, to raise money to help ‘alleviate financial stress’ for her husband Truck and son Trey.
A description on the page read: ‘Michelle was an outstanding mother, wife, friend, and Soror.
Floods of Ms Cumming’s (left) devastated friends and family have been paying tribute to her, while her son Trey simply wrote on Twitter ‘why’ following his mother’s death
‘If you can help alleviate financial stress for her Husband Truck and Son Trey, please donate any amount during this heartbreaking time.’
The page has already raised a staggering $127,880, while Veranna said the money would be used to transport Michelle’s body to her hometown of Baton Rouge Louisiana and to pay for funeral costs.
Annapolis Police Chief Edward Jackson encouraged members of the public to call with any information about the incident, saying Annapolis will not tolerate ‘senseless acts of violence’.
Timothy Jones, ATF’s Baltimore Special Agent in Charge, said: ‘We offer our sincere condolences to the family of Michelle Cummings, whose visit to this city and state should never have ended in tragedy.
‘The violent offenders who bring firearms into Maryland communities have a reckless disregard for human life — unconcerned about the devastation their shootings bring to innocent bystanders.’
Anyone with information is urged to call 1-800-CALL-FBI, Metro Crime Stoppers, or Annapolis Police Department’s detectives at 410-260-3439.
Source: Daily Mail