Woman shot dead in random fire after dropping off son to start school

The mother of a US Naval Academy football prospect was shot and killed at an Annapolis, Maryland, hotel, just hours after dropping off her son to start college.

Police say Michelle Cummings, 57, and her husband Leonard, were sitting on a hotel patio with another couple shortly after 12:01am on Tuesday when shots were fired on a nearby street.

Cummings was hit, and police and emergency services personnel were unable to save her. She was declared dead at the scene, according to police.

The shooting comes as cities around the United States are grappling with a surge of gun violence and murder.

Annapolis Police Chief Edward Jackson told reporters on Tuesday that Cummings was not the intended target of the shooting.

He said the family had come from Houston to get their son, who is also a football prospect, settled in at school. Members of the Naval Academy Class of 2025 took their Oath of Office on Wednesday evening.

“My heart does go out to the family,” Jackson told reporters. “You come here with the expectation to see your son go on a journey in one of the most exciting times of his life only to be met by a reckless shooter.”

Jackson said several shots were fired at a parked car and that the shots “traveled a distance” before Cummings was shot.

He said detectives were working around the clock to solve the case and are reviewing surveillance video from the area and other evidence.

The FBI and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives are assisting in the investigation and authorities are offering a $20,000 reward for information in the case, Jackson said.