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Police Apprehend Suspects


Daly City – On Wednesday, July 8, 2009, following an intense five-month long investigation, Daly City Police successfully apprehended two suspected gang members and are seeking a third, responsible for the brazen February 19, 2009 triple-shooting homicide that occurred during rush hour traffic on John Daly Blvd. near the entrance to the Daly City BART station. Daly City Police homicide investigators obtained no-bail murder arrest warrants for 28-year-old Danilo Velasquez, 18-year-old Luis Herrera, and 20-year-old Jaime Balam, all undocumented immigrants and validated members of the notorious Mara Salvatrucha (MS-13) criminal street gang.

In the early morning hours of Wednesday, July 8, a multi-law enforcement agency task force comprised of Daly City Police detectives, members of the San Francisco Police Department’s Gang Task Force, Ingleside Station Street Crimes Unit, and SWAT teams, and agents from Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE), executed simultaneous search warrants at three locations in San Francisco’s Hunters Point and Outer Mission districts. Velasquez was apprehended during the raid without incident. Herrera was arrested on the murder warrant at the San Francisco County Jail where he had been incarcerated on unrelated charges. Balam is currently outstanding; he was deported to his native Mexico on February 25 prior to being identified as one of the shooters in this homicide. Detectives believe he is currently in Mexico, however, since he has been deported twice previously, the possibility exists that he may have re-entered the United States.

On the evening of February 19, 21-year-old Moises Frias and three male friends were stopped in commute traffic on John Daly Blvd. near the Daly City BART Station when two gunmen driving a Honda-style vehicle stopped in traffic behind them. The suspects exited their vehicle and fired multiple gunshots into Frias’ vehicle at point-blank range. Frias was pronounced dead at nearby Seton Medical Center. Two of the other three passengers, suffering multiple gunshot wounds, survived the attack. The suspects’ vehicle was last seen fleeing onto northbound Interstate-280.

The investigation revealed that neither Frias nor his friends are associated with gangs, drugs, or involved in any criminal activity whatsoever. Investigators ruled out any evidence of road rage or similar motivation for the vicious attack. Detectives believe that the completely innocent young men were the target of mistaken identity by members of the MS-13 gang.

Daly City Police credit breaking the complex case through the combined dedication and tenacity of all the members of the multi-law enforcement agency task force, as well as the cooperation and assistance from the news media and citizens in our community. Velasquez and Herrera have been charged with first degree murder with special circumstances, three counts of attempted first degree murder, along with several enhancements for participating in a criminal street gang and firearms offenses. Balam is being sought.