Authorities in Maryland say a woman, who traveled to the state from Houston with her husband to help drop their son off at the United States Naval Academy, was fatally struck by a stray bullet at a hotel they had checked into.
According to WBAL, an excited Michelle Jordan Cummings and her husband had come to Annapolis to celebrate their son’s milestone and also see him off at the Naval Academy when the tragic incident occurred.
Authorities say the deceased and her husband were at the patio of the Graduate Hotel in the wee hours of Tuesday when Cummings was hit by multiple stray bullets coming from outside the establishment. Police add that they believe the gunfire emanated from an assault incident where people in a car around the hotel were shot at.
“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,” Annapolis Police Chief Ed Jackson said. Cummings succumbed to her injuries at the scene of the incident.
“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,” Annapolis Mayor Gavin Buckley said in response to the incident.
A lady who knew Cummings said the deceased mother was a “vibrant” and “caring” person, adding that her son alongside the deceased mother’s son had both gained admission to the Naval Academy and the boys were excited about playing football during their first year at the institution.
“She [Cummings] 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,” she told WBAL.
Meanwhile, police chief Jackson said the incident is being investigated and detectives are working around the clock to bring the perpetrator(s) to book. “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.
A GoFundMe organized to offer financial assistance to the victim’s family has so far raised over $100,000. Authorities are also offering a $20,000 reward for information that would assist with identifying the suspect(s).