Police: 2 charged with murder of MPD reserve officer in Laurel

Marie Hassan, 23, of Hyattsville and Caleb Gonga, 21, of Lanham were arrested and charged with murder in connection to the death of 43-year-old Brian Bregman.

LAUREL, Md. — Days after a reserve police officer for the Metropolitan Police Department was found dead in his home, the Laurel Police Department has made two arrests in connection to his death.

Marie Nancy Hassan, 23, of Hyattsville and Caleb Rinwi Gonga, 21 of Lanham were arrested and charged with first and second-degree murder, home invasion, armed robbery, in addition to an array of other charges in the death of 43-year-old Brian Bregman.

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On Feb. 3, the city’s police department said officers responded to a call of a possible burglary just before 1 p.m. in the 500 block of Main Street in Laurel. When officers got to the scene, they found Bregman dead inside his home.

Bregman’s body was later taken to the medical examiner’s office for an autopsy. Laurel police have not yet released further details about his death.

A spokesperson for the Metropolitan Police Department tells WUSA9 that Bregman served as a reserve officer with the police force for 16 years. He also served across the region in other capacities. Bregman practiced as a lawyer in his law firm Bascietto and Bregman in downtown Laurel.

Jon Katz, a fellow attorney in Fairfax County, said Bregman's death has been on the minds of many local attorneys.

"It was very heartening to be looking at the listservs for the Maryland criminal defense attorneys and DC criminal defense lawyers [today]," he said. "It was just an outpouring of people repeatedly saying how much he was an optimistic person and a helpful person. He was just loved so much and his memory is going to live on that way." 

Bregman also served as a firefighter/EMT with the Greenbelt Volunteer Fire Department.

During a news conference Friday afternoon, Laurel Police Chief Russ Hamill said that this was not a random crime. He said the department is working diligently to hold all of the individuals involved responsible.

Police say this case is an ongoing investigation and are still actively pursuing additional leads and anticipating more arrests. Anyone with information to please call the Laurel Police Department at 301-498-0092. Anonymous tips can also be sent to LPDtips@laurel.md.us.

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