As the city of New York gathered near the store where a 15-year old boy was viciously assaulted, tears and sorrow filled the air. One week after his tragic death, Lesandro “Junior” Guzman-Feliz was laid to rest Wednesday (June 27).
On that same day, six of the men implicated in his death appeared in court. As a judge read the charges aloud, one of the suspects began to break down and cry. His tears were met with little sympathy considering he was allegedly captured on video, helping to drag the boy out of the store.
Coincidently, all of the men plead not guilty. The tragic loss of life is made worse considering Junior was a victim of mistaken identity. The murder was said to be a retaliation for an alleged explicit video which depicted one of the attacker’s relatives.
All of the attackers are believed to be members of the Trinitarios, a Dominican-American street gang known to carry out assaults using machetes as their weapon of choice. One high ranking member of the gang admitted the ordeal was a “mistake” in various messages sent to the family via social media
Still, that admission does very little to comfort the grieving family. Both store owners and the NYPD have been the subject of public scrutiny based on the fact that store owners did nothing to stop the assault and two police officers did nothing to help the teen as he trekked a bloody path to the front of. Barnabas Hospital, where eventually died from blood loss.
Junior aspired to join the NYPD as a detective. The Hip-Hop community also showed support as Cardi B donated money to the family.