The life of a New York City teen could’ve been saved had bystanders not turned him away when he stumbled into a store seeking help, chilling new surveillance footage shows.
Lesandro Guzman-Feliz, who went by “Junior,” died last week after being hacked to death in a gang-related attack outside a corner bodega in the Bronx on Wednesday. Police have since arrested seven men in connection to the 15-year-old’s killing, but surveillance video showing the moments before and after the attack has the public enraged and asking why no one stepped in to help.
Footage of the incident shows the teen entering the Zesarina Grocery store to hide from his attackers, who the cops say targeted him in a case of mistaken identity. Guzman-Feliz tries hopping up and over the front counter but is initially blocked by a cashier. The employee eventually lets the teen onto the other side before the two disappear off camera.
Moments later, the attackers barge into the store and drag Guzman-Feliz outside, where they proceed to hack him with a machete, leaving him to die on the street with a severe stab wound to the neck. The teen manages to hobble back into the store looking for help, however, surveillance video shows.
Battered and bloody from the attack, Guzman-Feliz slumps over the counter, after which the cashier appears to shoo him, refusing to come to his aid. A customer who was inside the bodega at the time is also seen motioning for the injured teen to leave, pointing him towards the door. Guzman-Feliz hobbles back outside, only to collapse just feet from a nearby medical center.
The most shocking part of the video is the moment the customer reaches over a pool of the teen’s blood to finish a transaction, which had been interrupted by the attack. He hands the cashier some money and receives his goods in return before following Guzman-Feliz’s trail of blood out the door.
So far, the NYPD has charged 19-year-old Kevin Alvarez with murder and gang assault, FOX 5 New York reported. The other six suspects, identified as Danel Fernandez, 21, Joniki Martinez, 24, Jose Muniz, 21, Manuel Rivera, 18, Santiago Rodriguez, 24, and Jose Tavarez, were arrested in Paterson, N.J. on Sunday and are awaiting an extradition hearing scheduled for Tuesday afternoon, prosecutors said. All are believed to be members of the Dominican street gang known as the Trinitarios.
A relative of the slain teen said he’s received several mea culpa messages from gang members via Facebook apologizing for the brutal killing. The gang bangers reportedly mistook Guzman-Feliz for another man seen in a sexually-explicit video featuring a female relative of a Trinitarios gang member.
“They said, ‘We had the wrong person,’” Derek Grullon, 19, the teen’s brother-in-law, told the New York Daily News.
Thousands of people turned out for Guzman-Feliz’s wake on Monday, carrying signs and leaving flowers near the bodega where he was killed. The teen’s mother, Leandra Feliz, sported a t-shirt with her son’s face on it and thanked everyone for coming out to celebrate her son.
“He was a sweet kid with a very good heart,” she told the crowd of her son who had dreams of becoming an NYPD detective.