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Police: Texas mom killed outside Maryland hotel; $20k reward

June 30, 2021 GMT

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) — Federal and state authorities are offering more than $20,000 in rewards in the fatal shooting of the Texas mother of a U.S. Naval Academy midshipman candidate as she sat outside a Maryland hotel.

Michelle Cummings, 57, of Houston was killed early Tuesday outside the Graduate Hotel in Annapolis, where she was dropping her son off at the academy, city police said.

Cummings was the mother of Midshipman Candidate Leonard Cummings III, a plebe, or incoming freshman, and football prospect, according to the Naval Academy. Induction for the incoming class began Tuesday, kicking off basic midshipman training called Plebe Summer.

Investigators believe that Cummings was struck by a stray bullet while she was on the hotel’s patio, said Annapolis Police Chief Edward Jackson.

Two people were sitting in an SUV on a nearby street when shots rang out and Cummings was struck at least once, Jackson said at a news conference Wednesday.

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Jackson discussed the case and FBI and ATF leaders joined him to announce a combined $20,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of those responsible for Cummings’ death. Metro Crime Stoppers announced a $2,000 reward Tuesday.

“We’re going to do everything that we can, that’s humanly possible, to bring the killer into a court of law to account for this most horrific act as expeditiously as possible,” Jackson said at the news conference.

Crime victims all deserve justice, but Jackson said this case touched his heart.

“His family travels from Houston, Texas, in what should have been the highlight of their summer, to take their son to an induction ceremony, and then it ended the way it did,” he said.