Crime and Courts

Man Who Escaped House Arrest Charged in Killing Midshipman's Mother With Stray Gunfire

Michelle Cummings, 57, was fatally struck by a stray bullet while sitting on the patio of an Annapolis hotel

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A 29-year-old man who had escaped from house arrest was charged with killing a U.S. Naval Academy midshipman’s mother with stray gunfire and attempting to murder two others, Annapolis police said.

Angelo Harrod, of Annapolis, faces a slew of charges in the deadly shooting, including first- and second-degree murder, involuntary manslaughter and firearm charges, Annapolis Chief of Police Edward Jackson said Wednesday.

Michelle Cummings, 57, was shot while sitting on the patio of an Annapolis hotel. She and her husband were in town from Houston, Texas, for their son’s induction ceremony.

She was not the intended target of the shooting, police said. Harrod was charged for allegedly shooting at two others who were not identified.

“I know that the arrest will not bring the family’s beloved wife and mother back, but I hope this provides them with some justice,” Jackson said.

Harrod had escaped house arrest on May 3 after cutting off his ankle monitoring bracelet, Jackson said.

"He was all over the place, he wore a mask, so it was kind of difficult to identify," Jackson said.

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Cummings was killed June 29. The same day, patrol officers found and apprehended Harrod on a warrant related to his escape, Jackson said.

No weapon was recovered, Jackson said.

He’s been held without bond since June 30, police said.

Jackson said he called Cummings' husband, Leonard "Truck" Cummings, on Wednesday morning and told him about the arrest.

WBAL first reported an arrest announcement was expected, shortly after Cummings' family announced memorial services.

The services will occur over Thursday, Friday, Saturday in Houston, Texas, and Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

“For more than 25 years, my wife was my soulmate — an amazing human being who deeply cared for and about everyone she ever met, so there are no words to effectively convey the amount of loss, sorrow, confusion and anger that I have to experience all at once while we try to make sense of this tragic situation,” her husband Leonard "Truck" Cummings said in a written statement.

Cummings said the loss was too devastating to speak directly to the media but thanked the community and officials in Maryland who helped.

He said the Navy Parents Tailgate Club will dedicate their tailgate spot as the Michelle J. Cummings Pavilion.

“My family and I will continue to pray that the perpetrator of this heinous crime will be brought to justice in due time,” Leonard Cummings said in the statement.

Authorities said this week that a reward of $57,000 is now being offered for information leading to an arrest in the killing.

Several anonymous alumni from the Naval Academy have partnered with the police department’s foundation to provide an additional $25,000 to the reward.

“Someone knows something,” the police chief said in a statement. “We must bring peace and closure to the Cummings family, the USNA family and the Annapolis community. This additional monetary incentive will hopefully make someone do the right thing and come forward.”

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