Celebrities react to tragic murder of 15-year-old in the Bronx

Junie Sihlangu
Jun 26, 2018
06:05 A.M.

A teenager named Lesandro “Junior” Guzman-Feliz was killed by gang members last week Wednesday. It has been reported that the gang mistook him for someone else.


In the wake of the tragic killing, celebrities like Cardi B have taken to Instagram to voice their outrage. Video footage was released on social media that showed the murder.

Lesandro “Junior” Guzman-Feliz, 15, was dragged out of the Cruz and Chiky Grocery bodega at E. 183rd St. and Bathgate Ave in the Belmont neighborhood on Wednesday night. He was then stabbed and hacked to death with machetes by several attackers after being mistakenly identified.

Those responsible are said to be members of the Trinitarios, a Dominican gang. A member of the Trinitarios told Guzman-Feliz’s relatives that the gang had targeted the wrong person.


The teenager desperately tried to shield himself and then ran to St. Barnabas Hospital about two blocks away. Surveillance and cell phone video captured the killing.

For more on this story go to our Twitter account @amomama_usa. Guzman-Feliz was murdered because the men believed him to be the person who made a homemade sex video with one of their family members.

‘It’s been a sad week for the Bronx. God bless Junior and his family, this is every parents nightmare.’

Fat Joe, Instagram, June 24, 2018

Several members of the hip-hop community and other celebrities have spoken on the matter. Cardi B, who donated $8,000 to the GoFundMe campaign for the teenager addressed the killing this past weekend in an Instagram post.

Posting a photo of Guzman-Feliz’s mother, Leandra Feliz, where she was seen embracing him as he lay in a hospital bed, Cardi B wrote a moving message. In the post she spoke about the violent nature of the Bronx and how she felt law enforcement was indifferent to the tenants of the borough.


The singer included the hashtag, #JusticeForJunior. Other rappers who also spoke up via social media were Bronx native Fat Joe, Swizz Beatz and Juelz Santana.

On Monday more than 1,000 people lined up in the Bronx to mourn the teenager who was an NYPD hopeful. They flooded Southern Blvd. outside the R.G. Ortiz Funeral Home near E. 149th St, forcing the police to shut down the block.


The line to enter the funeral home wrapped around the block. Earlier in the day, Carmelo Anthony, a former Knick’s player now with the Oklahoma City Thunder, made a visit with his wife, La La Anthony, to the apartment of Guzman-Feliz’s family.

The couple spent about 20 minutes with the teenager’s relatives. Carmelo gave them a signed white Knicks jersey, a pair of white, an orange and blue Air Jordan’s and an Oklahoma Thunder jersey.


So far the Passaic County Prosecutor Camelia Valdes has identified the six men arrested in the machete murder. They are Bronx residents Jose Taverez, 21, Manuel Rivera, 18, and Danel Fernandez, 21; Santiago Rodriguez, 24, and Jose Muniz, 21, of Paterson, N.J., and Joniki Martinez, 24, of Freeport, L.I.

A seventh suspect, Kevin Alvarez, 19, from the Bronx, was also captured by the NYPD on Sunday. He was charged with murder, manslaughter, gang assault, and assault.


Another suspect was tracked to the Dominican Republic, and may also be in the process of extradition. Other people are being sought for questioning, and there may be additional arrests.

Guzman-Feliz’s brother, Manny Ortiz, 31, said, “I’m in shock. We never expected all these people,” while referring to the turnout on Monday.


As for the killers, Ortiz said, “I’m going to leave it to justice to do its job.” He urged the community to come together to oppose and destroy gang violence.

Guzman-Feliz was a member of the Explorer program sponsored by the NYPD. He had hoped to one day become a detective.

The teenager’s father, Lisandro Guzman, showed off a fresh tattoo of his son on the back of his hand. “My son was my son, but he was my best friend,” he said.

His mother described him as a sweet child whom she loved. She said Mayor de Blasio and the Police Commissioner James O’Neill had both reached out to her on Monday.

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