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Slain Bronx teen honored with street named after him

by Christopher Suarez - Campus Talk Editor
Thu, Mar 14th 2019 03:00 pm
Justice for junior Lesandro `Junior` Guzman-Feliz (above, left) was the 15-year-old whose murder this past summer touched the hearts of millions around the world. The video of his killing sparked outrage and support for the reform of gang violence in the Bronx, as the killing was a case of misidentification. Friends, family and politicians all joined in the celebration (above, right) of the new `Lesandro 'Junior' Guzman-Feliz` Way on the corner of Bathgate Avenue and East 183rd Street in the Bronx.
Justice for junior Lesandro "Junior" Guzman-Feliz (above, left) was the 15-year-old whose murder this past summer touched the hearts of millions around the world. The video of his killing sparked outrage and support for the reform of gang violence in the Bronx, as the killing was a case of misidentification. Friends, family and politicians all joined in the celebration (above, right) of the new "Lesandro 'Junior' Guzman-Feliz" Way on the corner of Bathgate Avenue and East 183rd Street in the Bronx.

 

The life of a human being is sometimes taken for granted. We go by every day seeing people without realizing that we can lose them at any moment. That is the case with the life of Lesandro Guzman Feliz, or “Junior,” as most people called him.

Junior’s death took over social media with nonstop replay of his gruesome murder. The 15-year-old’s life was taken in June of 2018. Since the release of the video, there has been love and support coming in from around the world. The murder capped off a violent summer for New York City.

Despite his death being over nine months ago, his memory has yet to fade. On the corner of Bathgate Avenue and East 183rd Street in the Bronx, New York, you can now see “Lesandro Junior Guzman Feliz Way” hung up.

The white tarp removed by the parents of Junior and council member Ritchie Torres to unveil the sign, brought about the memory and life of beloved Junior.

Junior was born on Nov. 11, 2002 in the Bronx, New York. His mother, Leandra Feliz, worked hard to make sure that her son did not go into the wrong hands. But growing up in the Bronx, the life of a teenager can sometimes be very difficult.

One bad move or decision can cost you your life. But how can a kid who aspired to be a NYPD detective get caught in gang violence?

Junior’s murder became an online sensation, not only because of how gruesome it was, but also because of his innocence. Junior was misidentified by the gang members who killed him.

The video shows Junior first running down the block into a local bodega where he tries to jump over the counter to hide from the men chasing him.

As he tries to hide from the men, the bodega owner blocks him from going over and after being cornered, Junior fights for his life.

While attempting to hide, the gang members see him and try to convince the bodega owners to let him go. After going back and forth, the gang proceeds to drag Junior from the back of the counter and out of the store. While he's dragged out Junior's cries for help are audible, but help never arrived.

As the attack continued outside, two nurses walked hand in hand past the bodega and saw everything but decided to keep walking.

Outside the bodega, Junior was confronted by six to seven gang members with machetes. While some of the gang members dragged Junior out of the store, two of the members stabbed Junior in the abdomen and neck. Miraculously, the victim found the strength to get up and ask for help, but the bodega owners kicked him out.

The bloodied Junior then made his way to the nearby hospital and collapsed across the street. As Junior sat there bleeding out, bystanders cried and recorded the 15-year-old who layed dying.

The two police officers who first arrived on the scene did not act right away, and instead decided to ask questions on how it happened. Junior was pronounced dead at the hospital in the arms of his mother.

His death sparked an international movement. According to CNN, his death pushed the NYPD to fund $18 million into gang prevention and over $200,000 was raised for Junior's funeral.

Naming a street after the late teen is a step in the right direction. The tragic events that transpired the night of June 20, 2018 will never be forgotten. But there is more that needs to be done.

The Bronx continues to be riddled with violence and the lack of police support is still evident. Sadly, Junior’s death sparked a movement for the first couple of months but nothing has been done since.

Let’s hope that the remembrance of Junior’s death and the constant reminder of seeing his name up on a street sign will create a push to do better.