- The Washington Times - Saturday, August 6, 2005

Six persons were arrested and charged yesterday with Friday’s stabbings at a high school and a shopping mall in Montgomery County — with more arrests expected, authorities said.

Detectives charged five men yesterday with the attacks at Springbrook High School in Silver Spring, the Montgomery County Police Department said.

Jose Cornejo, 25, of Hyattsville; and Kevin Macklin Mendoza, 18; Harris Hauffen, 17; Luis Guzman, 19, and Rolando Velasquez, 16, all of Silver Spring, are charged with attempted murder, first- and second-degree assault and conspiracy.

Police said Mr. Cornejo lives at an unknown address in Hyattsville. Mr. Mendoza is of the 8800 block of Garland Avenue in Silver Spring. The Hauffen youth is of the 300 block of South Hampton Drive in Silver Spring and Mr. Guzman is of an unknown address in Silver Spring. The Velasquez youth is of the 700 block of Langley Drive in Silver Spring. He is being charged as an adult, police said.

Henry Caballero, 20, of the 2500 block of Kirston Street in Hyattsville, was arrested and charged with attempted murder and first-degree assault in the stabbing of four victims at the Target store at Westfield Shoppingtown in Wheaton.

Montgomery County Police Chief J. Thomas Manger said more arrests were expected and that investigators are “working around the clock to get the people behind these stabbings locked up.”

He also said all of the victims attended Springbrook.

County Executive Douglas M. Duncan said the stabbings were a “tragic reminder that [Montgomery County] is not immune to the gang violence that we see across this region and this country.”

Mr. Duncan, a Democrat, also blamed the County Council for not funding more detectives for an anti-gang task force.

In the first incident, two youths, ages 16 and 17, were stabbed at 1:10 p.m. outside the high school after an argument, according to police.

About four hours later, four teenagers were stabbed inside the Target store at the shopping center, also known as Wheaton Plaza, after an altercation with a group of as many as six persons. The crimes scenes are about three miles apart.

Police do not know what prompted the fights, but said the suspects and victims are members of rival Salvadoran gangs. They have not yet linked the incidents, and do not think the second incident was in retaliation to the initial stabbings.

The six victims are expected to survive, said police spokeswoman Lucille Baur.

A relative of one of the victims of the school stabbings said Friday night he suspected the incident was gang-related, but that his 17-year-old nephew — stabbed four to five times in the face, head and stomach — was not in a gang.

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