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5 Arrested In Connection With Murder Of DC Reserve Police Officer In His Home

Laurel, MD – Police have arrested five suspects in connection with the shooting death of DC Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) Reserve Officer Brian Bregman.

The 43-year-old reserve officer was found murdered inside his home on Feb. 3, but police said he was actually killed during a burglary on Jan. 30, WJLA reported.

In addition to his work in law enforcement, Officer Bregman was also a defense attorney who previously spent time serving as a volunteer firefighter in West Lanham Hills and Landover Hills, The Washington Post reported.

The 16-year MPD veteran was also a forensic evidence technician for the State Medical Examiner’s Office and a longtime member of the Greenbelt Volunteer Fire Department (GVFD), according to WRC.

Caleb Gonga, 21, and Marie Hassan, 23, were arrested on murder charges on Feb. 12, WJLA reported.

Michael Phelps, 20, was arrested law week for accessory after-the-fact for allegedly helping to dispose of evidence, according to WJLA.

Two other suspects – Sam Mofor, 19, and Fabian Tinsley, 19 – were arrested by U.S. Marshals on Monday.

They have been charged with first-degree murder, second-degree murder, first-degree assault, home invasion, and use of a firearm in the commission of a violent crime, WJLA reported.

Investigators believe Officer Bregman invited Hassan to his residence on Jan. 30, according to Laurel Police Department (LPD) Chief Russ Hamill.

Evidence found on the reserve officer’s phone indicated he had arranged to meet Hassan using a social media app, according to WRC.

Investigators said Hassan was in a bedroom with Officer Bregman before she headed downstairs and let three masked, armed men in through the front door.

Hassan had already allegedly conspired with her co-defendants to rob the reserve officer, who ended up being shot multiple times during the incident, WJLA reported.

“This was not some random event,” Hamill later told WRC. “This was a targeted event.”

Reserve Officer Bregman died in his home, which was located above his law office in the 500-block of Main Street, according to WRC.

One of his law office employees found his body days later and called police, WJLA reported.

Criminal defense attorney David Zwanetz said he cannot imagine anyone wanting to harm Officer Bregman, who he described as a kind, gentle person with no enemies to speak of, The Washington Post reported.

“He was nothing but a pillar in the legal community,” Zwanetz said. “A young star, somebody that everybody knew was bright.”

He said his longtime colleague was a “statutory wizard” who was well-known as a go-to resource among his fellow attorneys, The Washington Post reported.

“His personality was one that he made everybody genuinely feel like we were his best friend,” defense attorney Andy Jezic told the paper. “He was a true gentleman. Someone that genuinely cared about the other person, wanted to give his time and expertise often times for free, just because he thought that was the right thing to do.”

Officer Bregman was not married and did not have any children, The Washington Post reported.

His younger brother, Jason Bregman, said Officer Bregman started volunteering as a firefighter as a teenager, and went on to become an emergency medical technician and paramedic.

“He did a lot of good for a lot of people,” Brian told The Washington Post.

Written by
Holly Matkin

Holly is a former probation and parole officer who is married to a sheriff’s deputy. She is a regular contributor to Signature Montana magazine, and has written feature articles for Distinctly Montana magazine.

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Written by Holly Matkin


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