Bronx River Parkway Attack

NYPD

Bronx Councilman Fights To Put End To Gang Violence In Wake Of Recent Attacks

June 28, 2018 - 8:22 am
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NEW YORK (WCBS 880) -- A Bronx councilman says the city will spend $1 million to help quell gang violence after two recent attacks were linked to the same group.

At 15-year-old Lesandro "Junior" Guzman-Feliz's funeral Wednesday, there was sadness but anger at what happened to a rising member of the community.

Mourners said the aspiring police officer was destined for great things but fell victim to gang violence.

Guzman-Feliz was dragged out of a deli on the corner of Bathgate Avenue and East 183rd Street last Wednesday and stabbed repeatedly in the neck. He managed to run a block to St. Barnabas Hospital, but he didn’t survive.

Police said the Trinitarios gang was responsible for Guzman-Feliz's death as well the stabbing of a 14-year-old boy on the Bronx River Parkway and another attack on the Upper East Side.

Some were shocked that gangs could be operating in their neighborhood, but the NYPD said it's still a problem and that they will be relentless in fighting it.

Bronx Council Member Ritchie Torres, who represents the Belmont neighborhood where Guzman-Feliz was killed, announced Thursday the new funding which will go into the city budget aimed at cracking down on gang violence and providing new mental health services for grieving residents.

“It brings a range of services to crime-stricken communities, such as workforce development, youth employment, mental health treatment, counseling and conflict resolution,” Toress said.

The driving force behind the Cure Violence initiative will be “violence interrupters,” people who were once lifelong members of gangs who will reach out to current members and let them know it’s not too late to make a change.

 

Junior's pastor at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church maintains his belief that the best way to prevent gang activity is to try and give young people in the community a purpose.

"We have to find out how are kids getting involved with these gangs, we have to stop the gangs, work with the police to make sure that there aren't gangs roaming these streets so that something like this doesn't happen in the future," the Rev. Jonathan Morris said. "What we're doing here at Mount Carmel is working with youth, high school youth, and we're giving them another option. Light, life, and purpose -- a purpose driven life."