*A Houston mother was killed in a drive-by shooting at her hotel in Annapolis, MD, while in town to drop off her son at the U.S. Naval Academy.
Police said 57-year-old Michelle Cummings was an innocent bystander during the shooting, which took place on Tuesday around 12:21 a.m. She was sitting in the patio area of her hotel when shots rang out and “travelled a distance” before striking Cummings. Her son, Leonard Cummings III (aka Trey), was a football player at Houston’s Westfield High School who committed to play at the Naval Academy and had received a scholarship.
Trey, had reportedly just settled into his dorm room when his father and Naval Academy leaders woke him overnight with the news. Fox5 DC reported late Wednesday that Trey departed the Academy on emergency leave after checking in.
Annapolis police and the FBI announced Wednesday afternoon that they are offering a $20,000 reward for information leading to the killer’s arrest. Police Chief Edward Jackson said that he spoke to Trey, telling him that the best way he could honor his mother is to go forward with his education at the Naval Academy.
“I believe that she is watching down over him and what my focus is now is to bring closure to the Cummings family,” Jackson said. “I told him I was proud of him and he’s doing something that the entire family is proud of, so don’t let some misguided gunman take that away from him.”
Investigators say the shot that struck and killed Cummings was fired from behind the hotel on Pleasant Street. Jackson said detectives have recovered video, and it appears Cummings was shot twice. There is shrubbery that in most cases would have prevented the bullet from reaching her, Jackson said. But Cummings had stood up as the bullet came toward the patio. Cummings was with another family, catching up, Jackson said. The two families knew each other because their sons attended the Naval Academy Prep School in Rhode Island before coming to the academy.
A GoFundMe has been created to help the Cummings family. As of Thursday morning, $110,000 had been donated, surpassing a goal of $100,000.
Watch the heartbreaking report and Chief Jackson’s presser below: