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Police search for assailants in deadly shooting linked to apparent home invasion in Aspen Hill

Three men armed with handguns burst into a home in Montgomery County late Wednesday and confronted three residents, setting off a struggle that left one of the residents dead, authorities said Thursday.

The home sits in the 13000 block of winding Grenoble Drive in the Aspen Hill community and is run by a nonprofit organization as a place for recovering alcoholics and drug addicts. Detectives were still trying to determine a motive and did not disclose any of their early thinking in the case.

“We believe that there is some type of connection but we don’t know what the connection is,” said Capt. Jim Daly, a county police spokesman. “We don’t believe this is a random crime.”

Daly’s office identified the victim as Alexander Benson Buie, 34, who lived at the home. The three suspects were described as black men, two of them appearing to be in their 20s. One was about 6 feet tall, with curly hair, a mustache and wearing camouflage pants. A second man was described as wearing dark clothes, and the third as being taller than the other two, wearing all black clothing and a black bandanna on his face.

Police were called to the home about 11 p.m. Wednesday, and when they arrived they found Buie suffering from a gunshot wound. He was taken to a trauma center, where he died, police said.

The shooting is under investigation. Police said a number of unrelated men live at the modest, two-story brick home.

Evelyn Pendergast, 90, who lives a few houses down, said she has seen the neighborhood change in the 59 years she has lived there.

She said neighbors used to sit outside and watch kids play, but that the area had become less safe over the years. Now, she said, she’s heartened to see some of the new Korean and Central American immigrants with children moving into homes in the neighborhood.

“We’re glad to see them come in,” she said.

The house where the incident occurred is a place where recovering alcoholics and drug addicts live. It is run by a private, nonprofit group called Oxford House, which is based in Silver Spring and operates 1,670 similar homes across the country, according to Paul Molloy, chief executive of the group. Each person pays about $105 a week in rent and must agree to not use alcohol or drugs, Molloy said.

Molloy said Buie lived in the house with six others, and that those who knew him said he seemed to be doing well. “He was a conscientious guy who appeared to be staying away from alcohol and drugs,” Molloy said.

“It sounds like a sad, tragic event,” Molloy said of the shooting. “Somebody lost their life.”

Dan Morse covers courts and crime in Montgomery County. He arrived at the paper in 2005, after reporting stops at the Wall Street Journal, Baltimore Sun and Montgomery (Ala.) Advertiser, where he was a Pulitzer Prize finalist. He is the author of The Yoga Store Murder.
Dana Hedgpeth is a Post reporter, working the early morning, reporting on traffic, crime and other local issues.



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