Rep. Cummings' nephew fatally shot in Va. apartment

The 20-year-old nephew of Rep. Elijah E. Cummings was shot and killed Friday morning in his Norfolk, Va., apartment, according to a statement released Sunday by the lawmaker.

Christopher S. Cummings, an Old Dominion University student and criminal justice major, was shot at a house where he lived with several other people near campus, according to The Virginian-Pilot.

"My family and I remain in shock over the news of the random shooting that took the life of my nephew, Christopher," Cummings said in a statement. "Christopher was an amazing young man who was loved and admired by so many people who had the honor of knowing him. An exceptional student with a 3.5 GPA, he had ambitious plans for his future after graduating from Old Dominion."

Christopher Cummings' apartment mate, Jake Carey, was injured in the shooting.

The university's president wrote a letter to the college community calling Christopher Cummings "a friendly and popular" student. "While we do not yet know all the details of yesterday morning's off-campus shooting, we do know the Old Dominion University community lost a bright and talented student and another student is recovering in the hospital," said John R. Broderick in a statement posted on the university's website Saturday.

The Theta Chi Fraternity, of which Christopher Cummings was a member, held a candlelight vigil Saturday night for him and Carey, according to The Virginian-Pilot. The newspaper said Christopher Cummings was from Northern Virginia.

Police have released few details about the shooting which took place at the house at 867 W. 42nd St. near Killam Avenue, near campus. Police in Norfolk, Va., said Cummings died shortly after 5 a.m. Friday. The cause of death according to an autopsy report completed Saturday was a gunshot wound to the abdomen. The president asked the community to be patient and to cooperate with police.

He said the university has been urging city officials and landlords to institute safety measures in neighborhoods where students live and "other crimes occurred this semester." He said the university has already taken measures to ensure the campus is safer.

"My family is grateful for the support and condolences we have received and our hearts and prayers are with Jake Carey and his family," Elijah Cummings said.

A spokesman for Rep. Cummings said funeral details were pending.

Associated Press contributed to this report.

liz.bowie@baltsun.com

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