Community speaks out on plans for bodega where 'Junior' was killed

BELMONT, Bronx (WABC) -- The family of a teenager murdered in the Bronx, Lesandro 'Junior' Guzman-Feliz, joined with community advocates at a rally Monday night at the scene of the murder.

The bodega where Junior was brutally stabbed to death remains a shrine to the teen and the focal point for a community still in mourning.

The bodega never reopened since that horrific night in June but has now been sold, possibly to become a bodega yet again.

On Monday night, neighbors, activists and Junior's mother gathered once again at the scene, demanding that something else, not a store, occupy the now infamous Bronx corner.

Some want the store repurposed as a community center.

"It should be something open for the community and for the youth, somewhere that they come and have youth mentors and people that can make them feel protected and feel safe," one area resident said.

It is not known who the new owner is or exactly what plans they have for the space, but residents say whatever comes next must stand for something larger.

"Anything that they need help with, resources for the community, keep them engaged so they won't feel they have to turn to gangs or criminal life," said a woman attending the rally.

Meanwhile, Junior's family is also speaking out against some groups that they say are using the murder as a money-raising scam.

The New York state attorney general's office released a statement Monday saying the office is investigating certain unregistered charities that claim to be supporting Junior's family. They are encouraging anyone with information to reach out.

The attorney general's office named two charities in particular that are now under investigation: The Justice for Junior Foundation and the New York State Community Affairs Bureau.

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