NASSAU COUNTY, Long Island (WABC) -- Nassau County police have arrested an MS-13 gang member was arrested in connection to two homicides including the murder of a 19-year-old at McDonald's last year.
20-year-old Gerson Hernandez was charged with gang assault in connection with the fatal shooting of Hector Manuel Valencia Gomez, who was shot multiple times in the parking lot of a McDonald's in Hempstead in September 2022.
The incident happened around the time students would have been getting out of school, and some concerned parents whose children go to the nearby Hempstead High School said it's a tradition for students to go to that McDonald's after class.
"Our kids walk home from school," parent Unique Redd said. "This is a place that they come get food after school and go home. It should be a safe place. There's too many guns on the street."
Activists and parents said they are fearful it will happen again and want to provide a safe passage in a community where none of the students qualify for busing.
Hernandez was arrested on a bench warrant and extradited from Maryland for his arraignment on Monday.
Officials said Hernandez is connected to another fatal shooting in July 2022 when a 21-year-old man was shot to death in Uniondale Avenue Park.
In both shootings investigators say the victims were attacked in retaliation by MS-13.
"Our Investigation led us to various individuals of MS-13, and particularly a Fulton click," said Captain Stephen Fitzpatrick of the Nassau County Police Homcde Squad. "In that click, we identified Gerson Hernandez as well as others."
Police have issued arrest warrants for two other men including Wilson Yanes of Hempstead who's wanted in connection of the death of Valencia Gomez.
Investigaors believe Yanes may be hiding in Virgina.