BALTIMORE (WJZ) — News of longtime Baltimore Rep. Elijah Cummings’ sudden death Thursday morning spread quickly through west Baltimore and beyond.

As tributes pour in from across the country, his constituents remember him as a “good guy” and as someone who would give you the shirt off his back.

“It really, like, shocked me, because I didn’t really know he was that sick,” said Valerie Blocker.

Bishop Walter Thomas from the New Psalmist Baptist Church in northwest Baltimore remembered Cummings as a regular Sunday morning worshipper.

“That’s the first thing that came to me in the morning and I dropped. My spirit dropped as if in a hole that I thought I would not come out of.”

Thomas called Cummings a friend, saying “to remember him is to remember a giant.”

Flowers sit on the stoop of former Maryland Rep. Elijah Cummings’ Baltimore home Thursday. The longtime congressman died Thursday morning.

For others in Maryland’s 7th District, which encompasses parts of the city of Baltimore and Baltimore and Howard counties, Cummings felt like a friend even to strangers.

“He lived in the community before he was a congressman,” said Renee Henry. “So, he was a friend, he was a family member and he got into politics because he cared.”

Paul Gessler

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