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Woman dies from injuries sustained in Md. fire


LAUREL, Md. (WUSA9) -- A woman who suffered burns on nearly half her body during a Maryland fire has succumbed to her injuries and died, fire officials said.

At about 9:45 p.m. Thursday firefighters were called to a single family home in the 7200 block of Carriage Hill Drive in Laurel. Firefighters arriving on the scene found a burned piece of furniture that appeared to have been on fire and extinguished by the 80-year-old woman living in the home, fire officials said.

The woman was evaluated and was found to have sustained burns on half her body, fire officials said. She was taken to the Burn Unit in D.C. where she succumbed to her injuries on Friday, officials said.

The cause of the fire is under investigation, but appears to be accidental, officials said.


Police ID motorcyclist killed in fatal Bowie crash


BOWIE, Md. (WUSA9) -- Police have identified the motorcyclist who died after a collision with an SUV on Monday.

The victim has been identified as Ali Blackshear, age 36, of Northeast Washington.

The accident occurred at the intersection of Laurel Bowie Road south of Powder Mill Road at 5:50 p.m., police said.

Blackshear was taken to the hospital in grave condition where he succumbed to his injuries, police said.

Preliminary investigation reveals that Blackshear was traveling southbound on Laurel Bowie Road when he veered into an oncoming traffic lane to avoid hitting a stopped car, police said. Blackshear than crashed head on with a Honda CRV that was traveling northbound police said.

Laurel police: Use of force down with body cameras


LAUREL, Md. (WUSA9) -- After two years of using police body cameras, Laurel police are now reporting use of force by police is down 30 percent.

"It holds everybody to a higher standard," said Chief Richard McLaughlin.

The department has deployed 32 cameras at a cost of about $2,000 each.

Some citizens fear the cameras violate privacy and worry that police might be able to manipulate or edit video to use against suspects.

Others applaud the cameras.

"At least whatever happens we'll be able to confirm it," said Eniola Otuvando.

Results in Laurel mirror results in other cities that have adopted body cameras. In Rialto, California, use of force is down 59 percent and brutality complaints are down 88 percent.


Shoppers get a jump on Black Friday


LAUREL, Md. (WUSA9) -- Shoppers started their shopping on Thanksgiving, what is now also being called Gray Thursday.

The National Retail Federation estimate about 25.6 million people are choosing to shop this Thanksgiving day, which is a lot less than the 95 million expected to come out for Black Friday.

There was plenty of parking and enough people to provide a buzz indoors at a Laurel mall.

Industry experts say that Gray Thursday may be quite popular among the young shoppers. According to experts, young people love the idea of shopping on Thanksgiving night so they can leave their parents, escape doing dishes and head out with their friends to go and see what kinds of deals are being offered.

Gray Thursday is problematic for some. Many employees who have to work on Thanksgiving are not thrilled about leaving their families and working on the holiday.

METROPOLITAN SCHOOL of the ARTS’ STUDENTS AWARDED for ALL-STAR CAST

METROPOLITAN SCHOOL of the ARTS’ STUDENTS AWARDED for ALL-STAR CAST

Ben Cherington and Kylie Levy of Metropolitan School of the Arts (MSA) Performing Arts Academy of Lorton, Va. and Alexandria, Va. were recently recognized for All-Star Cast by the Virginia Theatre Association Conference for their performances in I Never Saw Another Butterfly. This was the first time Metropolitan School of the Arts had participated in the conference. Cherington, an 11th grader from Burke, Va., and Levy, a 10th grader from Fairfax, Va. are students at Metropolitan School of the Arts. For more information, go to www.metropolitanarts.org.

Metropolitan School of the Arts (MSA) also earned the 2014 Virginia Theatre Association Conference award for Best Costume Design and was recognized for Staging, as well as received an honorable mention for Best Play, I Never Saw Another Butterfly.

2 pedestrians struck by van in Laurel


LAUREL, Md. (WUSA9) -- Two pedestrians were injured after being struck by a vehicle in Laurel, Md. Wednesday night, authorities said.

The accident happened around 9:40 p.m. in the 14000 block of Route 1 at the intersection with Cypress St in Laurel, Maryland State Police said.

The two pedestrians were standing in road when they were hit by the van, police said. This was not a high speed incident, according to authorities.

Both of the adults suffered non-life-threatening injuries.

The driver of the van stayed at the scene of the accident, police said.


Police seek suspect in Laurel homicide


LAUREL, Md. (WUSA9) -- Anne Arundel County Police are searching for a suspect and vehicle in connection with a homicide that took place in Laurel on Saturday.

Juan Lux Quinilla, age 36 of Langley Park Maryland is wanted for first degree murder and other related charges, police said. Police are also searching for a 2006 Cadillac Escalade with possible Maryland tags reading 01936CF.

At about 10:19 p.m. Saturday police were called to the 200 block of Red Clay Road in Laurel for reported gunshots. Upon arrival officers entered an apartment and found an adult male suffering from gunshot wounds, police said. The victim was pronounced dead on the scene by paramedics, police said. Quinilla shot and killed the victim with a handgun, police said.

The victim has been identified as Abelardo Alvarado Aguilar, age 37 of Hyattsville, police said.