Reward offered in drive-by killing of innocent Houston woman as she dropped off son at Naval Academy

ANNAPOLIS, Maryland (KTRK) -- A Houston mother was killed in a drive-by shooting at her Maryland hotel during what was supposed to be a time to celebrate her son's accomplishments.

According to police, Michelle Cummings was an innocent bystander during the shooting. It happened on Tuesday around 12:21 a.m. at a hotel in Annapolis.

Family members told Eyewitness News that Cummings was in town to drop off her son, who was recently accepted to the Naval Academy, where he plans to play football.

ABC13's Joe Gleason on Westfield football mom killed: 'My heart sunk'
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The woman killed in a drive-by shooting in Maryland was a proud Westfield High School football mom. Her son played on the team and was recently inducted into the Naval Academy. ABC13 sports producer Joe Gleason, who covers high school sports all the time, remembers the devoted mom vividly, and said many hearts are broken.



Police said Cummings was sitting in the patio area of her hotel when shots rang out. Investigators said the shots "travelled a distance" when they hit Cummings.

In a joint press conference Wednesday afternoon, Annapolis police and the FBI announced that they are offering a reward of more than $20,000 for information leading to the killer's arrest.

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Michelle Cummings was in Annapolis to drop off her son when she was killed. He's a Westfield football player who had just gotten a scholarship to the Naval Academy.



Annapolis Police Chief Edward Jackson said that he spoke to Leonard "Trey" Cummings III, telling him that the best way he could honor his mother's legacy 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."

Michelle Pittman with the Motherhood of The Brotherhood group said Cummings was excited to join them. Pittman also confirmed that before their sons are officially sworn in during Wednesday's ceremonies, the parents meet to give their children a special goodbye. Cummings was robbed of that cherished moment.



"She had such a giving heart and the message I have to share today is this didn't have to happen. This was such a senseless act," Pittman said. "I'm glad that Michelle was able to get her son to this point. He is such a fine young man. He is very resilient and strong and we are here to support the family."

Lt. Col. Todd McCarthy, Officer in Charge of Plebe Summer, said Trey decided to continue on with the ceremonies.

"He made the choice to in-process today. He didn't have to," Lt. Col. McCarthy said. "He has made the choice to stay here and join us for Plebe Summer, so we're taking care of him in every way we can. The entire team, the entire Naval Academy family surrounded him and we're doing everything we can for him."



According to preliminary information from the police chief, two people were sitting in a vehicle adjacent to where Cummings was shot.

Jackson added that detectives have recovered video. He said it appears Cummings was shot twice, but that's pending the autopsy results.

When asked, he did not disclose if officials knew the suspects they were looking for, saying that was part of the evidence.



Meanwhile, a GoFundMe account has been created to help the Cummings family.

The incident remains under investigation. Police in Annapolis are urging residents to come forward with any information.
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