Seven Suspects Arrested in Connection with Bronx Teen’s Murder

CORRECTS LAST NAME TO GUZMAN-FELIZ, NOT GUZMAN-ORTIZ - This undated photo provided by the New York City Police Department (NYPD) shows Lesandro Guzman-Feliz, a teenage member of the NYPD's Law Enforcement Explorers program. Guzman-Feliz, 15, was attacked at a bodega in the Bronx borough of New York on June 19, …

Police arrested seven suspects in connection with the brutal murder of a 15-year-old Bronx boy, and authorities say they are looking to make further arrests.

The Passaic County Prosecutors Office announced Monday afternoon that they arrested six of the suspects on suspicion of murder in Paterson, New Jersey, late Sunday afternoon, reported.

Authorities identified the six men apprehended in Paterson as Jose Taverez, 21; Danel Fernandez, 21; Santiago Rodriguez, 24; Jonike Martinez, 24; Manuel Rivera, 18; and Jose Muniz, 21.

Of the six men, all are from New York except Muniz, who is from Paterson. All six are being held at Paterson Police Headquarters awaiting extradition hearings Tuesday afternoon.

NYPD officials identified a seventh suspect — Kevin J. Alvarez, 19 — and charged him with second-degree murder, manslaughter, assault, and gang assault. Alvarez was arrested in the Bronx.

It is unclear whether police are going to arrest and identify additional suspects.

Authorities said tips on the whereabouts of the suspects led them to arrest the alleged Trinitarios gang members in Paterson and in the Bronx. Police say they have also identified a person of interest in the Dominican Republic.

It is not clear whether the members of the Trinitarios gang — a Dominican gang based out of New York’s Rikers Island prison — are American citizens.

The gang members dragged Lesandro Guzman-Feliz, 15, out of a Bronx bodega on East 183rd Street Wednesday night and allegedly butchered him to death with a machete, mistaking the innocent teen for someone else.

The teen suffered multiple stab wounds to his neck and collapsed to the ground not too far from a nearby hospital where he later died from his injuries.

Police say the Guzman-Feliz’s death was the result of a “mistaken identity over a sex tape” when the teen got involved in the deadly dispute with the gang.

A gang leader later told one of Guzman-Feliz’s relatives that he was “sorry” about killing the wrong person.

Investigators said the victim let his mother know he was going to the store a block away from his residence to repay a debt or lend money to a friend, but he never came home that night.

NYPD officials told Guzman-Feliz’s mother that New York City Police Commissioner James O’Neill would pay his respects to the slain teen at his wake on Monday evening.

Hundreds of people lined up around several blocks to mourn Guzman-Feliz at his wake Monday evening:

Guzman-Feliz’s murder has gained widespread attention on social media. A GoFundMe page called “Justice for Junior” raised more than $229,000 as of Monday evening for Guzman-Feliz’s funeral expenses, surpassing its initial goal of $15,000. Many people have also tweeted their outrage over the murder on the hashtag #JusticeForJunior.


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