NORRISTOWN — A Haverford man has pleaded not guilty to weapons and drug charges that were lodged against him after he allegedly was involved in a shooting incident that left a Norristown man dead.
Travis Omar Cummings, 20, of the 400 block of Lancaster Avenue, waived his formal arraignment hearing in county court and pleaded not guilty to charges of possession with intent to deliver controlled substances, firearms not to be carried without a license, person not to possess firearms, possession of controlled substances, possession of drug paraphernalia and tampering with or fabricating physical evidence in connection with a May 1, 2023, incident on Moore Street in Norristown.
Judge Risa Vetri Ferman will now schedule a trial date for Cummings, who remains in the county jail in lieu of $95,000 cash bail pending his trial.
Cummings previously waived his preliminary hearing on the charges, which moved the case to county court.
Assistant District Attorney Samantha Arena is prosecuting the case. Defense lawyer Andrew Joseph Levin represents Cummings.
The drug and weapons charges were lodged against Cummings in May after detectives investigated the death of Shafeeq Robbins, 28, of Norristown, who was fatally shot after he forced his way into a Norristown apartment occupied by a woman who had an active protection from abuse order against him, and with whom Cummings was visiting.
Cummings, the alleged shooter, was charged only with the firearms and drug-related offenses and does not face a homicide charge in connection with the incident.
The investigation began about 11:50 p.m. May 1 when Norristown police responded to a residence in the 300 block of Moore Street for a report of a shooting. Arriving officers found Robbins suffering from a single gunshot wound to the chest and he was transported to Suburban Community Hospital where he was pronounced dead, according to a criminal complaint filed by county Detective John Wittenberger and Norristown Detective Josh Samuels.
An autopsy determined Robbins died of a gunshot wound to the chest and the manner of death was ruled homicide.
Detectives determined that a female resident of the apartment had an active protection from abuse order against Robbins, who was the father of her 3-year-old child, according to court documents.
The woman told detectives that her friend, Cummings, came to her apartment to visit her about 11:45 p.m. and that shortly after Cummings arrived she heard a bang at the door. As the door began to open, the woman said she tried to keep the door closed with her hands but was unsuccessful and Robbins “busted into the apartment shouting, ‘What are you doing here?’” according to the criminal complaint.
The woman told detectives she then heard a gunshot, watched as Cummings ran from her apartment and observed Robbins on the floor bleeding, according to the arrest affidavit. The woman said she did not invite Robbins to her residence and that he was not welcome there as she had an active protection order against him.
Police later caught up to Cummings in the 500 block of Green Street and at that time he was not armed.
During a subsequent interview, Cummings told detectives he entered the Moore Street apartment to visit his female friend who was expecting him, closed the door and locked it, according to court documents.
“Cummings stated he had a seat on the couch and then described how a male subject, wearing dark clothing, forcibly broke into the apartment by forcing his way through the locked front door and immediately engaged with Cummings,” Wittenberger and Samuels alleged in the criminal complaint.
Cummings claimed the male, Robbins, struck him and began to feel around Cummings’ waist area as if trying to rob him.
“Cummings stated he was armed with an unknown caliber, semiautomatic firearm that was tucked in his front waistband. Cummings stated he was in fear of being robbed or hurt so he took out his firearm from his waist area and fired one shot at the male,” Wittenberger and Samuels alleged. “Immediately after the shot was fired, Cummings stated he was scared and ran on foot.”
Cummings claimed he had “found” the firearm he had been carrying “somewhere in an alley on the west end of Norristown about a week ago,” according to court papers. Cummings allegedly admitted that he did not legally possess the firearm.
After reviewing surveillance camera footage and interviewing witnesses, detectives determined Cummings disposed of several items in an unlocked white van, parked on the 500 block of Green Street, according to court papers.
During a search of the van, detectives recovered a Glock 30 .45-caliber semiautomatic handgun and a backpack containing crack cocaine, marijuana, drug-packaging materials and $2,210 cash, according to the criminal complaint.
Cummings later told detectives that after he fled from the Moore Street apartment he placed the firearm and the backpack that belonged to him in an unlocked van of someone he knew. Cummings claimed the marijuana in the backpack was for personal use and not for sale.
With the charges, detectives alleged Cummings was not legally permitted to possess a firearm.