Justice for Junior: 6 to be extradited from New Jersey in teen's murder; 8th arrest in Bronx

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Wednesday, June 27, 2018
15-year-old viciously murdered at Bronx bodega
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15-year-old viciously murdered at Bronx bodega

TREMONT, Bronx (WABC) -- Six suspects in the murder of an innocent teenager in the Bronx will be extradited from New Jersey, joining a two others who were arrested in the Bronx in the brutal killing of 15-year-old Lesandro Guzman-Feliz.

With the #JusticeForJunior hashtag trending in remembrance of Guzman-Feliz, who was affectionately known as Junior, the six defendants appeared in court in Paterson and waived extradition. They will head back to New York City to face charges for their alleged respective roles in the attack outside a bodega on East 183rd Street and Bathgate Avenue in the Tremont section, in what authorities believe was a case of mistaken identity that left the entire community outraged.

They were identified as:

--Jose Muniz, 21, of Paterson

--Jose Taverez, 21, of the Bronx

--Manuel Rivera, 18, of the Bronx

--Danel Fernandez, 21, of the Bronx

--Joniki Martinez, 24, of Freeport

--Santiago Rodriguez, 24, of the Bronx

Kevin Alvarez has already been charged with second-degree murder, manslaughter, gang assault and assault after he was arrested Sunday. The NYPD announced later Tuesday that an eighth man, 23-year-old Elvin Garcia, of Manhattan, was arrested in the Bronx and will also be charged with murder.

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Frederick Then, 20

"This investigation is not over," said Chief Dermot Shea of the NYPD Detective Bureau. "The brutal nature of this crime, we will leave literally no stone unturned."

Authorities say the men are all members of a gang, which is also believed to be involved in the stabbing of a 14-year-old on the Bronx River Parkway last week.

Guzman-Feliz was dragged out of the bodega and then slashed in the neck with a machete around 11:40 p.m. last Wednesday. He attempted to run to St. Barnabas Hospital, located just a block away, but collapsed on the sidewalk.

WATCH: Bronx teen murder suspect jeered at police precinct:

After Alvarez's arrest, police said they raided a house in Paterson known as a hangout for the gang allegedly involved in the murder.

Authorities said one of the suspects jumped out the window and had to be chased down. An additional person was picked up in the Dominican Republic and is currently cooperating with the investigation, with no charges filed.

Alvarez appeared in court Monday, was remanded and is due back in court on Friday.

(Photo courtesy New York Daily News)

Meanwhile, mourners continue to line Tuesday outside of Ortiz Funeral Home in the Bronx for a second wake to pay their respects to Junior.

A growing memorial of candles and photos outside the bodega has grown so large that officials closed off surrounding streets.

Junior's family is calling for a boycott of the bodega, as surveillance video of the attack shows that none of workers intervened during the attack. The bodega has since shuttered because of the simmering anger.

"They broke my heart," mom Leandra Feliz said. "They killed my son, and they killed me at the same time ... I feel death right now. That's the only thing that can bring me back to life, real life. I want my son with me."

Community leaders have planned a vigil for Tuesday evening.

"They have to make sure when they're going to kill somebody, they have to make sure that they have the right person," said Leandra Feliz, Junior's mother. "Look what happened now."

The NYPD said they added extra staff to the CrimeStoppers tip line because they received a "torrent of tips" related to the case. The public is urged to continue to provide information, and anyone with information should call 1800-577-TIPS.


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