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MS-13 gang member facing 2 murder charges

HOUSTON – Houston homicide investigators have arrested and charged a member of the violent MS-13 street gang they said is responsible for the murder of a student at the Houston CAN Academy last November.

Jairo Chicas-Raimundo, 23, is charged with murder in that killing and with capital murder in the kidnapping and killing of an alleged rival gang member two days earlier.

Houston police said two other men -- Juan Treminio, 30, and William Cortez, 23 -- were previously charged with capital murder, and another man, Melvin Ramirez, 19, is charged with tampering with evidence.

The men are accused in the deaths of Eleazar Vazquez in the incident in the 5900 block of South Gessner Road and Adrian Castillo, 19, in the 9700 block of Bissonnet Street, police said.

Police said Chicas-Raimundo entered the U.S. illegally and had only been in the country a few months when he allegedly carried out the killings. He’d been on the run for months when investigators finally found him and arrested him in west Houston Tuesday.

On Nov. 7, 2016, Chicas-Raimundo was the alleged trigger man in the ambush of two students in the parking lot of the Houston Can Academy, according to police.

Castillo was killed.

A student with him was wounded. Police said the second victim was taken to Ben Taub General Hospital in stable condition.

The alleged motive for the killing was Chicas-Raimundo’s decision to intervene in an argument between students with pistols.

“We know these individuals were called out there. There was some sort of minor dispute going on. And they intervened in a violent manner and they shot two children,” Sgt. Chris Sturdivant said.

Two days earlier, Chicas-Raimundo and other MS-13 members kidnapped Vazquez in the 5900 block of Gessner Road. According to police, they believed Vazquez to be a member of a rival gang.

“He was kidnapped by three MS-13 gang members. He was taken out of the city, he was tortured, he was ultimately murdered...executed,” Sturdivant said.

Police said Vazquez's body was later found in the 14900 block of FM 521 in Brazoria County.

Chicas-Raimundo went before a magistrate judge Wednesday afternoon to hear the charges against him.

He was ordered to be held without bond.

Prosecutors could seek the death penalty on the capital murder charge.

Police said all four suspects remain in custody in the Harris County Jail.

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