Mother killed by stray bullet while dropping son off at Naval Academy

Published: Jun. 30, 2021 at 4:32 AM CDT
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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WBAL) - A proud mother planning to see her son off to the United States Naval Academy was killed by a stray bullet at a Maryland hotel, police say.

Michelle Jordan Cummings and her husband were staying at the Graduate Hotel in Annapolis, Maryland. The two were in town from Houston to help her son get settled in at the U.S. Naval Academy, but Cummings’ life was taken in an instant.

“A celebratory occasion for the family, celebrating their son going to one of the best institutions in the United States, turned into a tragic event,” said Annapolis Police Chief Ed Jackson.

Michelle Jordan Cummings, of Houston, was fatally shot outside a Maryland hotel where she was...
Michelle Jordan Cummings, of Houston, was fatally shot outside a Maryland hotel where she was staying while helping her son get settled in at the U.S. Naval Academy.(Source: GoFundMe)

Police say Cummings, her husband and another couple were sitting on a patio at the hotel just before 12:30 a.m. Tuesday when Cummings was hit by more than one bullet. It is believed the gunfire came from an assault and shooting on nearby Pleasant Street, where shots were fired at people sitting in a car.

Cummings was pronounced dead at the scene.

“This city’s heart is broken. Somebody has lost their mum on the most proudest day probably of her life, so there are no circumstances where this can be tolerated,” said Annapolis Mayor Gavin Buckley.

Veranna Phillips, who knew Cummings well, describes her as a “vibrant” and “caring” mother. Their sons went to prep school together and were excited to start their first year at the Naval Academy playing football. She says Cummings was so proud of her son and his journey ahead.

“She was so excited about it, so happy that her baby was going be a midshipman, and everybody that met her knew that she radiated motherhood, happiness - just such a wonderful young woman,” Phillips said.

A GoFundMe that Phillips set up for Cummings’ family has raised more than $48,000.

Detectives are working on the case nonstop, 24 hours a day, according to Jackson and Buckley. Investigators are looking at cameras in the area and have some leads, but the police chief did not provide details.

“You come here with the expectation to see your son go on a journey - one of the most exciting times of life - only be met by a reckless shooter. So, what I’ll say to the shooter: ‘Turn yourself in. We’re coming after you,’” Jackson said.

Anyone with information on the case, including who the suspect or suspects might be, is asked to call police or Metro Crime Stoppers.

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