Image: Rep. Elijah Cummings
Chip Somodevilla  /  Getty Images, file
Rep. Elijah Cummings described his nephew was an "amazing young man who was loved and admired by so many people who had the honor of knowing him."
msnbc.com staff and news service reports
updated 6/13/2011 4:47:28 AM ET 2011-06-13T08:47:28

The nephew of a Maryland congressman has been shot dead.

Democratic Rep. Elijah Cummings of Baltimore said Sunday that his family remained in shock over the "senseless tragedy."

The politician's 20-year-old nephew Christopher Cummings was shot in his off-campus apartment in Norfolk, Va. Roommate Jake Carey was also critically wounded in Friday's attack.

Both were students at Old Dominion University.

'Random shooting'
Cummings said his nephew was an "amazing young man who was loved and admired by so many people who had the honor of knowing him." He had a 3.5 grade-point average and "ambitious plans for his future."

The congressman described the incident was a "random shooting."

According to The Baltimore Sun, the politician's nephew was a criminal justice major.

"My family is grateful for the support and condolences we have received and our hearts and prayers are with Jake Carey and his family," the newspaper quoted the congressman as saying.

In a statement posted online, university president John R. Broderick described the slain student as "bright and talented."

"Words cannot express our grief at the senseless loss of such a bright, young man," he added.

The Associated Press and msnbc.com staff contributed to this report.

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