Detectives from the Montgomery County Police Major Crimes Division - Homicide/Sex Section continue their investigation into the shooting death of 14-year-old Tai Lam, of the 1000 block of Quebec Terrace in Silver Spring, that occurred on Saturday, November 1, 2008, in a Ride On bus in Silver Spring.
On November 7, Hector Mauricio Hernandez, age 20, of the 8600 block of Flower Avenue in Takoma Park was charged with first-degree murder. He is being held without bond. It was determined that Hernandez is affiliated with the MS 13 gang.
Detectives have now obtained arrest warrants for two additional suspects: Gilmar Leonardo Romero and Mario Ernesto Milan-Canales. Romero will be charged with first-degree murder and Milan-Canales with accessory after the fact for first-degree murder.
These two individuals were developed as suspects through the course of the investigation. It is believed that they are also affiliated with the MS 13 gang. Anyone who has information in reference to the whereabouts of these two suspects is asked to call detectives at 240-773-5070. Callers may remain anonymous.
Romero is described as a Hispanic male, age 20, 5’1” tall, weighing 120 pounds with brown eyes and brown hair. Milan-Canales is described as a Hispanic male, age 30, 5’3” tall, weighing 140 pounds with brown eyes and hair.
The investigation began on Saturday, November 1 at approximately 11:08 p.m., when police officers from the 3rd District were called to a bus stop on Piney Branch Road at Arliss Street for a shooting that had just occurred. Upon arrival they found three juvenile males on a Montgomery County Ride On bus suffering from apparent gunshot wounds. Tai Lam died of his wounds that night.
The preliminary investigation revealed that a group of 10 to 12 friends, including the three victims who were shot, got on the Ride On bus in downtown Silver Spring. There is no evidence that these individuals are affiliated with any gangs. Another group of four or five male subjects got on the same bus at two different locations. There was a verbal exchange between members of the two groups. What exactly was said and the manner in which it was said is still under investigation. It is believed that the two groups were only together on the bus for a short period of time.
For unknown reasons the four or five subjects got off the bus at the Piney Branch Road and Arliss Street stop. As one of those subjects was getting off, he turned and fired a handgun from the area of the rear door of the bus into the bus striking the three teens. That subject has been identified as Hernandez. All three victims were transported to area trauma centers. The two surviving victims, a 14-year-old male and a 15-year-old male, were released from the hospital and continue to recover from their injuries.