Family Remembers Mother of Midshipman Killed by Stray Bullet in Annapolis

Michelle Cummings and her husband had just dropped their son off at the United States Naval Academy.

NBC Universal, Inc.

Leonard Cummings stood stoically, surrounded by friends, family, Annapolis city officials and clergy. Days ago they were strangers, but now they're bonded to the Cummings family’s unfathomable loss.

"They’ve helped me to this point, and they will continue to help me as we move forward,” Leonard Cummings said.

Cummings' wife, Michelle, died after being struck by stray gunfire Tuesday as she stood on the patio of a hotel room. The couple had just dropped their son off at the United States Naval Academy.

Choked with emotion, Leonard, recalled one of the last conversations with his wife.

They talked about grief, about how his responsibility back home in Texas— to raise and lower the flag outside the municipal building he manages— is steeped in loss. A conversation that proved tragically prophetic.

“Every time went to go raise the flags something else happened, so the flags have been at half-staff from May until we left,” Leonard said.

Now, for him those flags will signify a personal loss.

“It is unimaginable what they’re dealing with, it is still so early on,” Mayor of Annapolis Gavin Buckley said.

"We are dreadfully sorry that this was your experience here in our state capital, here in Annapolis," State Delegate Shaneka Henson said.

Police have made no arrests in the shooting. Early on, investigators believed the gunfire came from the neighborhood surrounding the hotel.

A retired police sergeant was among those making a direct plea to the killer.

“Stop hiding, do something good in your life and turn yourself in," James Spearman said. "You have hurt more people than you know.”

The vigil was held at a memorial to the victims of the Capitol Gazette shooting three years ago, which was dedicated earlier this week.

Contact Us