The four young men who were hacked to death in a New York park in April were lured there by two women associated with the vicious MS-13 street gang, and ambushed by more than a dozen gang members armed with wooden clubs and machetes who engaged in “a horrific frenzy of violence,” according to court documents obtained Wednesday by Fox News.
The new details were released Monday as part of an indictment charging three of the street gang’s alleged members — Alexis Hernandez, Santis Leonel Ortiz-Flores and Omar Antonio Villata — with the April 11 deaths of the four men.
The three were each charged with one count of racketeering, one count of conspiracy to murder rival gang members and four counts of murder.
In a letter arguing the suspects should be denied bail, prosecutors gave a new look inside what led to the brutal killings of Justin Llivicura, 16, Jorge Tigre, 18, Michael Lopez Banegas, 20, and 18-year-old Jefferson Villalobos, who was visiting from Florida at the time. A fifth young man who had accompanied the victims to the park ran for his life and escaped, the court memorandum said.
“MS-13 suspected that some of the men were from a rival gang, and directed the female associates to lure them to a community park…where a group of MS-13 members would be waiting to attack and kill them,” federal prosecutors wrote in the letter.
Prosecutors say when the women brought the men to the park, they then sent a text message of their location to other gang members who were “waiting to attack.”
“Hernandez, Ortiz-Flores and O. Villalta and the other MS-13 members approached and surrounded the victims,” prosecutors wrote.
“One of the targeted victims ran immediately and escaped, but the group of MS-13 members and associates attacked and killed Llivicura, Lopez, Tigre and Villalobos, using machetes, knives and wooden clubs,” prosecutors wrote. “[The four victims] were surrounded by more than a dozen MS-13 members, including the defendants, and engulfed in a horrific frenzy of violence as they were brutally bludgeoned, sliced and stabbed to death.”
The four young men “were marked for death merely because they were suspected of disrespecting the MS-13 and being rival gang members,” according to prosecutors.
Only three men have been identified publicly by police as being involved in the brutal killings, even though federal prosecutors say more than a dozen MS-13 members were involved in the gruesome murders. Several additional juvenile suspects have been arrested, law enforcement sources told Newsday.
Bertha Ullaguari, Tigre’s mom, told the Associated Press she did not recognize the names of any of the suspects charged in the indictment.
“I demand justice, what can I say,” she said. “This pain is too much for me. This is not easy, every day, every hour, I can’t understand why they did it.”
The 43-year-old who emigrated from Ecuador said she has no mercy for the accused.
“I want them to be tortured like my son was tortured,” she said.
MS-13, also called Mara Salvatrucha, is believed to have been founded as a neighborhood street gang in Los Angeles in the mid-1980s by immigrants fleeing a civil war in El Salvador. The gang grew after some members were deported to El Salvador, helping turn that country into one of the most violent places in the world.
The killings of the young men in April were among 11 murders that have struck the communities of Brentwood and Central Islip, on eastern Long Island, since September. In all, 19 killings on Long Island have been blamed on MS-13 since January 2016.
In March, authorities announced the arrests of more than a dozen gang members, including some charged with killing two high school girls in September 2016 with baseball bats and machetes as the teen girls walked near their home.
President Trump sent Attorney General Jeff Sessions to Long Island in the wake of the April killings to pledge assistance in cracking down on gang violence. Last week, Trump said in a tweet that “MS-13 gangs are being removed.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.