A gang member who authorities say orchestrated the vicious 2016 killing of a 16-year-old will be in prison for the rest of his life, Texas officials announced.
Douglas Alexander Herrera-Hernandez, who is nicknamed “Terror,” was convicted of capital murder for the death of Estuar Quinonez, a teenager who had witnessed several gang-related murders, according to Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg. Herrera-Hernandez is a member of the gang MS-13.
Herrera-Hernandez is accused of luring Quinonez to a Missouri City park, where “Terror” and other gang members allegedly shot the teen at least 15 times. He was killed so “he’d be forever silenced,” Ogg said.
“As the 16-year-old sat on a park bench, Herrera-Hernandez and the other hidden gang members emerged and started shooting at him, hitting him in the head,” Ogg said in a news release. “All of the gang members who were present, including Herrera-Hernandez, shot Quinonez.”
More than a year after the June 2016 killing, Herrera-Hernandez was arrested in Virginia in July 2017, the Texas Department of Public Safety said. He was a part of the Texas 10 Most Wanted Fugitive list.
Authorities sought the death penalty for Herrera-Hernandez, the Houston Chronicle reported in 2018. Prosecutor Lisa Collins told the publication at the time authorities would “not tolerate this behavior.”
Herrera-Hernandez was ultimately sentenced Friday to life in prison without parole.
“We are trying to break the back of this organization by sending their assassins to prison for as long as possible and we will remain unrelenting in our pursuit of these criminals who band together to terrorize communities,” Ogg said.
The MS-13 gang, also called the Mara Salvatrucha, is one of the world’s most violent street gangs that began in Los Angeles in the 1980s, according to the U.S. Department of Justice. The gang has between 50,000 to 70,000 members mainly concentrated in urban areas with a large Central American population.
“MS13 violence is brutal and purposeful,” the Department of Justice said. “Violence is at the heart of the MS13and is what has made it a target of law enforcement in the United States, Central America and beyond. It is central to the MS13’s ethos.”