Lesandro Guzman-Feliz

NYPD

8 Now Arrested In Murder Of Bronx Teen In Case Of Mistaken Identity

June 26, 2018 - 11:44 am
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NEW YORK (WCBS 880) -- An eighth suspect was arrested Tuesday in the murder of a teenager who was killed in a case of mistaken identity outside a Bronx bodega.

Meanwhile, as WCBS 880’s Kevin Rincon reported, six other defendants in the case have waived extradition from New Jersey and will be brought back to the Bronx to face charges.

Shackled and dressed in dark jumpsuits, the six defendants faced a judge at the Passaic County Courthouse. They were arrested in Paterson over the weekend.

After waiving their right to an extradition hearing, they will be brought back to New York to face murder charges.

Lesandro “Junior” Guzman-Feliz was dragged out of a deli on the corner of Bathgate Avenue and East 183rd Street last Wednesday and stabbing him repeatedly in the neck.

He managed to run to St. Barnabas Hospital, which is a block away, but he didn’t survive.

At the New Jersey hearing, the defendants hung their heads as they listened to the judge and the court proceedings, with the exception of Manuel Rivera, 18. He is the youngest one in the group, and took time to gaze at the news media standing to the left and right of the judge.

The defense attorneys crowded around the table at the center, and rows of benches filled with people watched.

Following the hearing, one defense attorney acknowledged the attention the case has gotten.

“Social media is alive with threats against them,” the attorney said. “I ask that everyone please allow the system to run its course. They will be returned to New York. They will be appointed counsel. Please let the system run its course.”

Another attorney made clear that the men intend to invoke their Fifth Amendment rights, so we will not be hearing a lot from them.

A seventh suspect – Kevin Alvarez, 19 – pleaded not guilty Monday night to charges of second-degree murder, manslaughter and gang assault charges.

An eighth -- Elvin Garcia, 23 -- was arrested Tuesday.

“Literally as we speak, we’ve just in this building, made an eighth arrest regarding this incident. That person will be prosecuted for murder,” NYPD Chief of Detectives Dermot Shea said at a news conference at the 48th Precinct police station in the Bronx.

A family member told CBS2 that gang members posted a Snapchat apologizing for the attack.

“It was somebody else, but they confused him,” the family member said, “and they said sorry, they apologized, and they send their condolence. But he’s gone. That doesn’t change anything.”

Police said the defendants were part of the Trinitarios gang.“We will not tolerate thugs on the streets of the Bronx, whether it’s Trinitarios or any other gang involved in behavior of this sort,” Shea said.

Shea said the case is ongoing and fluid.

“As I said, this investigation is not over. The brutal nature of this crime, we will leave literally no stone unturned until we make sure that we get justice; that we make sure that everyone involved in this incident are brought to justice,” Shea said.

On Monday, Mayor Bill de Blasio called Lesandro’s murder a disgusting, horrible incident.

"I spoke to his mom,” de Blasio said. “It was heart breaking. Really admirable woman who talked about all she did to bring him up the right way."

The mayor noted that Lesandro wanted to be a police officer.

"He was part of our Police Explorers program, and I really admire young people who become a part of that,” de Blasio said. “So I said to (his mother), ‘We want to find a way to honor him in a lasting way.’"

The mayor added, “What hurts me most is that this was a young man who wanted to serve our city, and is now taken from us.”

The second night of visitation for Lesandro was also set for Tuesday. His funeral is planned for Wednesday.

Lesandro’s family has also set up a GoFundMe page titled “Justice for Junior,” which has raised more than $150,000.