Almost three years ago, police arrested three dangerous MS-13 gang members in connection to the fatal shooting of a man in Houston, Texas.
The Harris County District Attorney office described the early morning slaying in November 2015 as brutal. They said two of the three suspects ran a man, which they suspected of being a rival, down in a parking lot at 8000 Harwin. They then took turns to relentlessly shoot him in the head and stomach with a .40 caliber handgun.
The pair then jumped into a waiting getaway car and fled the scene.
The 27-year-old victim Hector Diaz, a construction worker, was pronounced dead in an ambulance as he was being transported to the hospital.
After an eight-day trial, on Aug. 8, prosecutors announced that the three killers, all from Central America, were sentenced to prison.
Jonathan Guevara, 21, was convicted in February this year and sentenced to 99 years. His fellow gang member Giovani Antonio Herrera, 23, admitted to his crimes and was sentenced to 40 years after making a plea deal. The getaway driver, 32-year-old Anival Guevara, was convicted on Aug. 3 and sentenced to 27 years.
“We will never know what Hector said in those final moments of his life to these three killers, but the violent way in which they chose to take his life after only a brief conversation with him is what makes this gang so dangerous,” Assistant District Attorney Lisa Collins said in a statement released on Aug. 8.
“They showed a complete disdain for the value of human life.”
The MS-13 gang is also known as Mara Salvatrucha and was initially formed by Salvadoran immigrants that fled to Los Angeles during the civil war in their home country. The gang’s motto is “kill, rape, control.”
The gang is ranked by the Texas Department of Public Safety as a Tier 1 gang, in the same class as The Texas Syndicate, Texas Mexican Mafia, and Tango Blast, according to the district attorney office statement.