A teen is under arrest in the murder of a 15-year-old boy who was dragged from a Bronx bodega, hacked with a machete and stabbed to death.
New York City police arrested Kevin J. Alvarez, 19, on Sunday and charged him with murder and related charges in the death of Lesandro Guzman-Feliz, according to the NYPD. He is expected to be arraigned today in the Bronx.
Police said four more people are suspected in connection with the killing, which took place last Wednesday night. One suspect was tracked to the Dominican Republic, while three others were reported arrested in New Jersey, according to the New York Daily News. The NYPD did not respond to a request to confirm the report.
Surveillance video captured harrowing images of five men pulling Guzman-Feliz out of the Cruz and Chiky Grocery story in the Belmont section of the Bronx. Once they got the boy outside the store, they repeatedly hacked him with a machete and stabbed him with knives.
The boy, mortally wounded, got up and ran toward a nearby hospital, but collapsed on the way, bleeding out on the sidewalk.
Guzman-Feliz’s mother, Leandra, told the New York Daily News on Saturday that her son wanted to be a police detective, and was a member of the Explorers, an NYPD-sponsored group for teenage boys and girls that provides mentoring and encouragement from police officers.
“He has never been in any fight, never, in 15 years,” his mother added.
“He was innocent. He never grew up on the streets. He was with me all the time.”
Police declined to speculate on a motive for the murder, but the New York Times reported that social media users suggested that Guzman-Feliz had been mistaken for another teen who shared video on Facebook of himself having sex with one of the suspects’ female relatives.
Guzman-Feliz’s brother-in-law, Derek Grullon told reporters that the leader of a Bronx street gang known as the Trinitarios sent him messages apologizing to him for the murder, admitting that members of the gang killed the teen in error.
“They said, ‘We had the wrong person,’” Grullon told the New York Daily News. His wife, Guzman-Feliz’s sister, received similar messages, the newspaper reported.
A GoFundMe page “Justice for Junior” has as of Monday morning raised $152,731 for Guzman-Feliz — far abouve its stated goal of $15,000. The donations came from 6,477 people, including the rapper Cardi B, who grew up in the Bronx. According to Inside Edition, she donated $8,000.
“These Bronx streets are ruthless,” she said on Saturday on Instagram.