Five people have been arrested following the murder of Lesandro Guzman-Feliz, according to the New York City Police Department.
Guzman-Feliz, 15, was allegedly dragged from a store and attacked with a machete and knives outside a Bronx deli on Wednesday night (June 20), before being left to die on the pavement.
It’s believed to have been a case of mistaken identity, with the Chief of the NYPD describing the murder as being ‘among the most brutal crimes’ he’d seen in his 36 year career.
The stabbing murder of this young man is among the most brutal crimes I’ve seen in my 36yr career. @NYPDDetectives are working hard to capture these killers, but we also need your help. Watch this video and call #800577TIPS with any information you can provide. #JUSTICEFORJUNIOR pic.twitter.com/h6QxmGtEsx
— Chief Terence Monahan (@NYPDChiefofDept) June 23, 2018
Guzman-Feliz, who was enrolled in the NYPD Explorers program for youths, had ‘dreamed of being a detective’, according to New York Post.
Chief Terence Monahan has now revealed there’ve been arrests in the case.
He wrote on Twitter:
There’ve been arrests in the murder of Lesandro Guzman-Feliz. This has been a team effort between dedicated @NYPDDetectives, our law enforcement partners & you, the public we serve.
This is still an active investigation. Call #800577TIPS with info. We will have #JUSTICEFORJUNIOR. [sic].
There’ve been arrests in the murder of Lesandro Guzman-Feliz. This has been a team effort between dedicated @NYPDDetectives, our law enforcement partners & you, the public we serve. This is still an active investigation. Call #800577TIPS with info. We will have #JUSTICEFORJUNIOR. pic.twitter.com/4HGYHwQHFa
— Chief Terence Monahan (@NYPDChiefofDept) June 25, 2018
Kevin J. Alvarez, 19, was named as one of the alleged killers, according to reports.
Alvarez, of the Bronx, has been charged with ‘second-degree murder, manslaughter, gang assault, and assault’, according to police.
A video was released over the weekend by the NYPD in an attempt to bring the perpetrators to justice.
Guzman-Feliz, who was known as Junior, had dreams of joining the police force and his mother paid tribute to her ‘sweet’ son.
Leandra Feliz, 48, told the New York Post:
He was my angel. He was a sweet child. But they killed my son like he was junk.
Since he was five-years-old, he told me, ‘Mommy, I want to be a police
He loved the police car [He said], ‘I wanna drive the police car’.
They stabbed my son in the neck, in the main artery going to the heart. They opened a hole in his neck with a machete.
That’s why my son die. I hugged and kissed my son. I said, ‘Oh my God! Who am I going to wake up to go to school?
Tell me, what bad thing that a kid like that do? Five men with machetes? A kid with no weapon. Alone. Why kill him like that?
He was just waiting to graduate and study criminal justice. And be a police.
I have no reason to live my life. They kill him. They kill me, too. I’m ready to die. You can put me with my son.
According to reports, Guzman-Feliz’s brother, 19-year-old Derek Grullon, received messages on Facebook from men claiming to be part of the Trinitarios – a notoriously violent Dominican gang.
They said, ‘We had the wrong person’. She got a two-minute video via Snapchat in which the gang leader said they kicked all of them out of the gang.
We cried. He was innocent.
A member of Guzman-Feliz’s family set up a GoFundMe page, saying:
I opened up a GoFundMe account for my brother in law and he’s family due to financial difficulties at this moment since he’s death was so sudden and tragic. [sic]
He was 15 yrs old and was stabbed to death by a group of multiple men. Anything donated will be greatly appreciated. We appreciate your help and your prayers thank you very much. [sic]
Our thoughts are with the family and friends of Lesandro.
If you’ve experienced a bereavement and would like to speak with someone in confidence contact Cruse Bereavement Care via their national helpline on 0808 808 1677.