Christopher Cummings, Elijah Cummings’ Nephew: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

Elijah Cummings

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Elijah Cummings, the Democratic representative from Maryland’s 7th Congressional District and a civil rights activist, died on October 17, 2019. Sadly, his family faced tragedy years earlier when his nephew, Christopher Cummings, was killed. Christopher’s murder remains unsolved. Here is what you need to know about Elijah Cumming’s nephew, Christopher Cummings.

1. Christopher Was Killed When Someone Broke Into His Home

Rep. Cummings speaks about nephew's deathRepresentative Elijah Cummings speaks about his nephew's death near Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Friday morning.2011-06-13T10:11:00Z

In June 2011, Christopher Cummings was killed at the young age of 20. Someone broke into his house and shot him and his roommate, CBS Baltimore reported. It may have been their second attempt to break into his home.

Christopher’s father, James Cummings, said that in the first incident, his son saw the man coming and ran down the steps, pushing him out the door when he saw him pull the gun. His father thought the man returned for revenge. By the time of Christopher’s funeral, police still had not identified a suspect or motive, The Baltimore Sun reported.

Friends said that during the second break-in, Christopher tried to fight off the person. His roommate, Jake Carey, was shot and crawled to a neighbor’s home to get help, CBS Baltimore reported.

The area had many robberies at the time of the shooting. Elijah Cummings said at the time that police believed the shooting was random, NBC Washington reported.

2. A Suspect Has Still Not Been Arrested

Two years later, in 2013, Jake Carey was still hoping someone would catch the murderer. Carey was left with a bullet in his ribcage after being shot five times, The Virginian-Pilot reported. He said he sometimes drove by the house they had rented, hoping someone would eventually be caught.

Police told James Cummings’ attorney that the evidence would probably never get any clearer. At one point a person of interest was questioned and then released.

In March 2019, The Baltimore Sun reported on how Cummings’ murder still remained unsolved. There was still no motive or suspect. The Norfolk Police would not comment, saying they did not discuss ongoing investigations.

3. Christopher Planned To Follow in His Uncle Elijah Cummings’ Footsteps


Christopher had planned on following in his uncle Elijah Cummings’ footsteps, CBS Baltimore reported. He was an honors student attending Old Dominion University who majored in criminal justice. He had a 3.5 GPA and he was a junior in college who hoped to become an attorney.

Elijah Cummings talked about the unsolved murder during a debate about whether Johns Hopkins University should have its own police force, The Baltimore Sun reported. Cummings did not hold back. He said: “I literally saw his brain splattered on the wall. They had a whole spate of robberies on the campus before my nephew got killed and had not taken the appropriate precautions.”

4. He Once Built a Successful Lawn Care Business & Was Ambitious

Family Mourns Christopher CummingsPolice continued Monday to investigate the fatal shooting of a 20-year-old nephew of U.S. Rep. Elijah Cummings.2011-06-13T21:30:52Z

His father said that he was an enterprising young man who once started a lawn care business that helped him pay for his first car, The Baltimore Sun reported.

5. Elijah Cummings Delivered the Eulogy at His Nephew’s Funeral


Elijah Cummings was heartbroken by his nephew’s death and worried for other students’ safety. “Christopher is dead,” he said after his nephew’s murder. “He’s not coming back but there are a lot of students who I really wonder about as far as their safety is concerned.”

Elijah gave the eulogy for his nephew’s funeral at Victory Prayer Chapel in Baltimore, a church started by Cummings’ family.

During the funeral, he challenged the people there to stand against violence on campus, The Baltimore Sun reported.

He said about his nephew: “You said I inspired you, but, Christopher, my brother, you inspired me… We love you, and we thank you for shining a light on our life.”

READ NEXT: How & When Will a Replacement for Rep. Elijah Cummings Be Chosen?

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