Lesandro Guzman-Feliz was the apple of his parents eye. He was a young man with big dreams of becoming a NYPD detective when he came of age. Lesandro, affectionately known as Junior, was going to make sure that the "bad guys" were locked up.
On June 20, 2018 Junior was last seen alive on surveillance footage, both inside and outside, of a Bronx bodega. Junior was murdered in what has now become one of the most brutal and senseless killings the country has ever witnessed.
Junior was stabbed on the street and ran into the bodega for help. He crawled over the store counter and hid, presumably begging the men working at the store to hide him. When his attackers came into the store in search of him. The store clerks pointed him out and essentially delivered him into the hands of his killers.
Those five men pulled Junior from the bodega, while he clung to the door frame in an attempt to get away, and murdered him with machetes and knives. The worst part is, Junior hadn't done anything and this was all a cruel case of mistaken identity.
A female family member of one of the men, now known to be in a Dominican gang called the Trintarios, had been the victim of a sex tape. The men assumed Junior was the boy who leaked the footage and decided to be judge, jury and executioner.
Although the horrific incident was captured on video, we will not post it or link it out of respect for Junior's family.
The entire city launched a campaign to find those guilty of Junior's murder and the men in the video were arrested, one by one, over the course of one a few days. One of them had fled to the Dominican Republic and one had attempted to change his appearance. Now, an eight man has been arrested just one day before Junior's funeral.
"The latest suspect, identified as Elvin Garcia, was taken into custody in the Bronx, the borough's District Attorney Darcel Clark said outside the 48th Precinct.
NYPD Chief of Detectives Dermont Shea joined her in the announcement.
"Literally as we speak, we've just, in this building, made an eighth arrest regarding this incident. That person will be prosecuted for murder," he said.
Shea did not rule out the possibility of more arrests, saying "the investigation is ongoing" and they will "leave no stone unturned.
"Garcia was slated to face a judge Tuesday night.
He along with seven others are facing charges of murder, manslaughter, gang assault and other assault charges in the killing of Lesandro "Junior" Guzman-Feliz.
The teen's slaying was captured on surveillance video and sparked widespread community outrage.
Guzman-Feliz was dragged outside the bodega and set upon by a gang of men who hacked at him as he struggled to defend himself. He was slashed in the neck and died after running to a hospital three blocks away.
News of the eighth arrest comes after a group of six suspects in the case appeared before a judge in New Jersey and agreed to be extradited to New York.
Jose Muniz, 21, of Paterson, NJ
Jose Taverez, 21, of the Bronx, NY
Manuel Rivera, 18 of Bronx, NY
Danel Fernandez, 21 of Bronx, NY
Joniki Martinez, 24, of Freeport, NY
Santiago Rodriguez, 24, of Bronx, NY
Another suspect, Kevin Alvarez, 19, was charged on Monday. He pleaded not guilty.
The defense lawyer who oversaw the hearing of the six suspects in New Jersey acknowledged the intense activity on social media regarding the men accused of the killing the teen. She called for level-headedness in the wake of the tragedy.
"All of these men have families," deputy public defender Judy Fallon said.She said the suspects' family members have received threatening messages, including death threats."I ask that everyone please allow the system to run its court," Fallon said.
She said the suspects' family members have received threatening messages, including death threats.
"I ask that everyone please allow the system to run its court," Fallon said.
I understand that in this country you are innocent until proven guilty HOWEVER when you murder someone, especially a child, in cold blood AND ON CAMERA, we need to make an exception. Citizens are also calling for a boycott of the bodega where Junior was murdered a cause that, I feel, is the right one to make. How could someone stand by and watch this happen?
Several celebrities have reached out to Junior's family such as Cardi B, Lala and Carmello Anthony and several of Junior's favorite rappers. This is heartbreaking to say the least. Our thoughts and prayers are with this young man's family.