Justice for Junior: Friends, family, neighbors come together to honor slain teen

ByEyewitness News WABC logo
Wednesday, June 27, 2018
15-year-old viciously murdered at Bronx bodega
15-year-old viciously murdered at Bronx bodega

TREMONT, Bronx (WABC) -- Friends, family and neighbors gathered in the Bronx for a second day Tuesday to honor and remember an innocent 15-year-old boy who was brutally killed last week in what is believed to be a case of mistaken identity.

That's no comfort to the parents of Lesandro Guzman-Feliz, known to many as Junior, who are now desperate for justice for their son.

Leandra Feliz and Lesandro Guzman spoke outside the Ortiz Funeral Home in the Bronx on Monday after the first of two wakes, where a line of mourners gathered to say goodbye to their son.

A group of attackers used machetes to slash and stab the teen last week outside a bodega in the Tremont section. Eight suspects are now facing charges.

Mayor Bill de Blasio was among those attending the wake Tuesday night, as mourners continued to line up around the block.

Attendees have been waiting to pay respects to the victim's family.

"I think it's amazing," Leandro's sister-in-law Ione Gutierrez said. "I think it's justice for Junior."

Gutierrez remembers Junior as being devoted to his family and an outgoing, social young man in the NYPD's Explorer program.

"(He) wanted to be a detective," she said. "Not just a police officer, a detective. It has rank."

Police Commissioner James O'Neill made it a point to pay his respects to the family. Many others, with some moved to tears, felt it was important to show support for the family by standing in line for up to four hours.

"That's what really has us here because of my two daughters," parent Jose Andino said. "I got young kids his age, and to get them snatched up like that is crazy."

Many were not surprised by the huge turnout.

"Not really, that shows unity," area resident Terri Ramos said. "Something that we have not seen in a long time."

Mourners will bid a final farewell Wednesday when funeral services are held at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church in the Belmont section.

Not far from the somber scene at the funeral home was the arraignment for the 19-year-old who was the first suspect charged with Junior's murder. Kevin Alvarez was met with an angry crowd as he emerged from the 48th Precinct following his arrest Sunday night.

Security cameras outside the bodega captured the gruesome murder.

"They did him like an animal, and the people who did this, in my opinion, today, should not get justice at all," mourner Kenneth Kelly said. "They should be sentenced to life without parole."

Junior's father now has a permanent memorial on his left hand after he got a tattoo of his son this weekend. He says it is something he will carry with him forever.

Celebrities around the country are also demanding Justice for Junior:


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