ANNAPOLIS, Md. - Federal law enforcement agencies are joining the investigation in the death of a U.S. Navy Midshipman candidate’s mother who was allegedly struck and killed by a stray bullet while on an Annapolis hotel patio this week.
The incident happened early Tuesday when 57-year-old Michelle Jordan Cummings stepped outside of a room at the Graduate Hotel on West Street and onto the patio where she was struck by a stray bullet.
A GoFundMe page has been posted to help the family with their expenses
The Cummings family had only just arrived in Annapolis from Houston to celebrate the Naval Academy induction of their son, Leonard Cummings III, who also planned to play football.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives on Wednesday pledged a combined $20,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of the suspect – or suspects – responsible for Cummings’ death.
The reward is being offered on top of the $2,000 reward already announced by the Metro Crime Stoppers organization.
Investigators believe the stray bullet is linked to gunfire reported during an incident on Pleasant Street.
The Naval Academy and their extended families have rallied around the Cummings family to offer support.
Friends with the victim since college, Erica Daniels told FOX 5's Stephanie Ramirez one of the things she loved most about Michelle Cummings was just how invested Cummings was into her family – whether it was a brother or making her son’s football dreams come true.
Daniels noted that the couple had been married 25 years.
"Imagine that loved one being taken in a matter of seconds. And think about how you would’ve felt not having the person that was responsible for that not coming to justice," Daniels said.
Annapolis Police Chief Ed Jackson said they’ve spoken with the intended targets and they are combing through video – but didn’t give any more details. He did also tell FOX 5 he spoke with the victim’s son.
"I said to him, I think the best way to honor your mother’s legacy, ‘cause she was a big part of you being here today – she raised you, she nurtured you, she loved you – the best way to honor her legacy is to go forward with your education at the naval academy. I know from – this is personal, I’m a spiritual man, I do believe in God and I believe she is watching down over him and what my focus is now is to bring closure to the Cummings family," Jackson said.
Leonard Cummings completed the check-in process at the academy, and then departed on emergency leave, according to a U.S. Naval Academy spokesperson.
If you have any information that might help the investigation, you can call the FBI at 1-800-225-5324, Metro Crime Stoppers at 1-866-756-2587, or Annapolis police at (410) 260-3439.