Fatal shooting inside Laurel apartment linked to gambling operation -- Gazette.Net


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This story was updated at 11:54 a.m.

Prince George’s County police are investigating a Tuesday night homicide at a Laurel apartment complex and officers said they believe the killing is linked to an illegal gambling operation.

Around 11:43 p.m., police officers responded to the Villages at Montpelier apartment complex in the 11600 block of South Laurel Drive near South Laurel Neighborhood Park for the report of a shooting.

Officers arrived to find James Thomas Cornell, 43, of the 8300 block of Montgomery Road in Ellicott City, inside suffering from a gunshot wound, and he was pronounced dead on the scene, said Officer First Class Edward Martin, a county police spokesman.

Cpl. Larry Johnson, a county police spokesman, said police are now trying to identify possible suspects and investigate how illegal gambling may be linked to the motive. He said the suspects targeted the apartment unit since it was set up as an illegal gambling operation.

“When we arrived, it looked as though there were evidence that an illegal gambling operation was occurring,” said Johnson, who declined to say what evidence was found.

Angela Bonsu, a manager at Villages at Montpelier, said property management is cooperating with police in the investigation.

“We’re working with police and trying to figure out what happened,” she said. “We sent letters out to the residents.”

A woman who answered the phone at Cornell’s Ellicott City residence declined to comment.

djgross@gazette.net