Arrest made in murder of Tai Lam

Nov. 8, 2008, midnight | By Kiera Zitelman | 15 years, 5 months ago

County police arrest Takoma Park man

Around 7 p.m. on Friday, Montgomery County police arrested Hector Mauricio Hernandez, 20, of Takoma Park, for the murder of Blair freshman Tai Lam, according to Lieutenant Robert McCullagh. Detectives obtained a warrant for first degree murder. Hernandez is a member of the MS-13 gang, though police are still investigating whether gang involvement played a role in the shooting. He is being held without bond.

Lam, 14, and two others, 14 and 15, boarded a Ride On bus in Silver Spring with a large group of friends on Nov. 2. The three boys were shot around 11 p.m. after a verbal exchange with a group of four to five older men. When the bus stopped at Arliss Street and Piney Branch Road, the older group exited the bus. One of them fired into the back of the bus, hitting Lam and the two other boys, who attend Blair and Northwood High School.

The nature of the verbal exchange is still under investigation. "For unknown 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," according to a police press release. "That subject has been identified as Hernandez."

Lam died later that night, while the other boys were taken to Georgetown University MedStar Hospital in critical condition. Both have since been released and are recovering from their injuries.

Police are still searching for others on the bus and expect to make more arrests, according to McCullagh. "We are still looking for associates as witnesses or defendants," he said.

Hernandez will be brought before a grand jury for indictment, and the next step would be a Montgomery County circuit court trial. "They will eventually stand trial in Montgomery County for murder," McCullagh said.

Police are asking anyone with information related to the case to call (240) 773-5070. Callers may remain anonymous.

Kiera Zitelman. Kiera Zitelman goes by many names and Photo Booth effects. She enjoys being able to drive and representing Kensington. She likes her dog, Sophie, and her human friend of the same name. Kiera owns one-third of a hot dog toaster and one-fourth of a movie … More »

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