Alleged MS-13 gang member accused of squatting in Silver Spring home killed on Christmas Eve

SILVER SPRING, Md. - Montgomery County Police have identified the 18-year-old man they found shot to death on Christmas Eve.

Police say they found Jose Herrera with multiple gunshot wounds on the 1000 block of Quebec Terrace around 6:31 p.m., just days after he posted bond.

According to court documents, he was one of five men arrested back in October for squatting in a Silver Spring home slated for demolition for Purple Line construction.

Police called it a "Destroyer," a structure used by MS-13 as a hangout.

The documents show that a Purple Line employee discovered two men, Jesus Ponce-Flores and David Lagunes-Bolanos in the home at 807 University Boulevard East on October 17th.

The home was since knocked down.

The employee was in the attic when the two men came up the stairs with a gun, according to the documents. After he explained why he was there, the two men left and the employee left the home to call police.

Detectives eventually approached the home after seeing four men go inside, announced their police presence, and ordered anyone inside to surrender.

Documents say the four men tried to run out, but were arrested and identified as Lagunes-Bolanos, Herrera, Ricardo Arauz-Pineda, and Debrick Bonilla-Jarquin.

Ponce-Flores was tracked down by police in Silver Spring shortly after the arrests. Documents show he was also a suspect in a homicide case.

The paperwork outlines the items found inside the home, which include:

  • Graffiti with various terms including "Locos" (a term used to identify members of MS-13), "504" (area code for Honduras), "Santa Mu3rt3" (the Saint of Death with E's replaced with 3's out of respect for MS-13), spray-painted marijuana plants
  • A shrine to Santa Muerte with lit, burning candles
  • Skeleton idol to Santa Muerte
  • Skull Halloween mask with painted blood
  • Clown masks


Anyone with information regarding the shooting death of Herrera is asked to contact the Major Crimes Division at 240.773.5070.