Thursday, November 13, 2008

Two Additional Suspects in Silver Spring Teen Homicide Arrested - MCPD

Detectives from the Montgomery County Police Major Crimes Division - Homicide/Sex Section continue to investigate the individuals involved in 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 was affiliated with the MS 13 gang.

Through the course of the investigation, the identities of two additional suspects were developed. Detectives obtained arrest warrants for: Gilmar Leonardo Romero, age 20, of an unknown address; and Mario Ernesto Milan-Canales, age 30, of an unknown address. Romero's warrant is for first-degree murder and Milan-Canales' warrant is for accessory after the fact for first-degree murder.

As the investigation continued, it was learned that Romero and Milan-Canales had fled to Texas. Today at approximately 10:00 a.m., members of the U. S. Marshal's Fugitive Task Force - Houston took both men into custody. They were found on public transportation (bus) and taken into custody without incident. They will be held in Houston to await extradition. It is believed that both men are affiliated with the MS 13 gang, but that has not yet been confirmed.

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 3 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.

Montgomery County Police would like to thank all the members of the community who have called in and assisted in advancing this investigation.

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