Tremont, the Bronx—As of Monday afternoon, at least seven people have been taken into custody for the fatal stabbing of 15-year-old Lessandro “Junior” Guzman-Feliz last Wednesday night.
The tragic stabbing incident occurred at approximately 11:45 p.m. outside a bodega on the corner of East 183rd St and Bathgate Ave, according to the NYPD.
Surveillance video from inside the bodega shows the first moments of the assault. The tape starts with Mr. Guzman-Feliz on the ground, and two individuals grabbing him by his sweatshirt and arm, pulling him towards the door.
In a video from a second security camera— aimed outside the store—Mr. Guzman can be seen being dragged out of the door, and then stabbed multiple times by several different attackers. The entire assault takes place in about 30 seconds, based on the time stamps of the video.
After the attack is over—and the alleged perpetrators have fled from the area— Mr. Guzman-Feliz stands up upright and has, what appears to be, severe lacerations on the right side of his neck. After standing still for a moment, Mr. Guzman-Feliz then begins to walk away from the store.
Police said Mr. Guzman-Feliz was trying to make his way to St. Barnabas Hospital—only a block away from the bodega where the stabbing occurred. However, he only made it a short distance before he lost consciousness and collapsed on the pavement, where the first responding officers found him, according to officials and bystander video.
Surveillance video released by the NYPD—edited by officials to help the public identify the suspects in the stabbing— shows camera angles at the entryway to the store and outside it. The NYPD’s video includes freeze-frames of the faces of three suspects that enter the store, as well as the face of a fourth suspect outside, who is holding what appears to be a large knife in his right hand.
Initially, police said they had not determined whether Mr. Guzman-Feliz had been intentionally targeted by the group of men that attacked him; however, within a few days of the attack, the “leader” of the Trinitarios—a gang that the attackers are believed to be members of —contacted members of the victim’s family and indicated that Mr. Guzman-Feliz was not the individual the group had been after, the NY Post reported.
Sunday night, police made their first arrest in connection with the stabbing; 19-year-old Kevin Alvarez, of the Bronx, was booked on charges of murder, manslaughter, assault and gang assault at the NYPD 48th Precinct.
Later, Mr. Alvarez was led from the precinct to a waiting police vehicle to be transported to a NYC Corrections facility to await his appearance before a judge. As he was walked to the car by detectives, multiple individuals in a crowd that had gathered outside the precinct screamed at him “He was a baby, he was a baby. You f**king a**hole.”
In addition to the arrest of Mr. Alvarez, on Sunday police in Paterson, NJ took six people into custody.
The Paterson Police Department said they received a tip at about 1:40 p.m. yesterday that at least four people wanted by the NYPD were holed up in a house on East 24th Street in Paterson. The house at the location is reportedly connected with the Trinitarios gang, officials stated.
When police arrived at the house, one of the wanted suspects reportedly fled through a window, but officers were able to take the individual into custody after a brief time, according to officials.
This morning, Passaic County, NJ, Prosecutor Camelia Valdes stated that a total of six individuals were arrested in Paterson in connection with the fatal stabbing. All of them are currently being held in the Passaic County Jail waiting for an extradition hearing tomorrow afternoon.
Authorities have identified the six men as the following: Jose Muniz 19, of Paterson, NJ, Joniki Martinez,24, of Freeport, NY; Jose Tavarez,21, Manuel Rivera,18, Danel Fernadez,21, and Santiago Rodriguez,24, are all from the Bronx.
This is a developing story. Check back for updates.
Video and reporting from the scene by David Sarmiento.
INTERIM UPDATE: We have made arrests regarding the murder of 15-yr-old Lesandro “Junior” Guzman-Feliz. Confirmed details to follow. This is still an active investigation. Your tips have been invaluable! Please keep them coming. 800-577-TIPS. #justiceforjunior #GangFreeBronx pic.twitter.com/pODqvYqZlX
— Chief Dermot F. Shea (@NYPDDetectives) June 24, 2018