Hundreds attend funeral of Bronx teenager who was slashed to death with a machete after being dragged out of bodega in case of mistaken identity by ‘Dominican street gang’
Lesandro ‘Junior’ Guzman-Feliz’s funeral took place on Wednesday at Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Church
Crowds lined the streets to pay their respects to the 15-year-old who was murdered on June 20
Pall bearers wore Yankees jerseys to carry Lesandro’s coffin into the church as crowds watched
Eight men aged 18 to 24 from New Jersey and the Bronx are all in custody on murder charges
Police believe they are members of the Dominican street gang Trintarios and targeted Junior mistakenly
They allegedly mistook him for a rival gang member who was filmed on Snapchat having sex with one of their girlfriends
Grieving dad Lesandro Guzman, wearing a rosary,touches his son Lesandro’s coffin at the Our Lady of Mt. Carmel church in the Bronx on Wednesday
More than 1,000 mourners packed the cavernous Our Lady of Mount Carmel church in the Belmont section, about eight blocks away from the spot where Lesandro “Junior” Guzman-Feliz’s life was cut short.
Parents of the slain 15-year-old wore rosary beads around their necks and broke down as the funeral mass wrapped up.
Just before Guzman-Feliz’s closed casket was led out the church, his teary-eyed dad Lisandro Guzman put both hands to his face, shook his head and gently touched the black with silver casket, that was draped in a white cloth.
Meanwhile, mom Leandra Feliz dissolved into tears while speaking to the officiating priest. She held hands with two relatives as she stoically followed her son’s casket out.
Outside the church, mourners sobbed and chanted “Justice for Junior!” as his casket was loaded into the hearse.
Emotional bereaved mom,Leandra Feliz was comforted by Father Jonathan Morris outside the church.
Mourners turned out in huge numbers for the funeral of 15-year-old Bronx teenager, Lesandro ‘Junior’ Guzman-Feliz, who was brutally murdered on June 20, allegedly by some members of the Trintarios, a Dominican street gang in a tragic case of mistaken identity.
The teen was stabbed to death after being dragged out of a bodega screaming by a gang of men. Horrifying surveillance video of the attack has shocked the city and sparked calls for a crackdown on gang violence.
On Wednesday, mourners packed into Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Church in the Bronx, New York, to bid farewell to Junior, an aspiring policeman.
The service went between Spanish and English and included several readings from the bible. At the heart of the service was a plea to the young people in the congregation to take a stand against violence.
Pall bearers carry the coffin of 15-year-old Lesandro ‘Junior’ Guzman-Feliz out of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel church in the Bronx on Wednesday. His dad [right wearing a rosary], was in the lead
The slain teen’s father, Lisandro Guzman, broke down in tears as he hugged other mourners at the funeral on Wednesday morning
Avid NY Yankees fan, 15-year-old Lesandro Guzman-Feliz [photo], an aspiring NYPD officer, was beaten and stabbed to death outside of a Bronx bodega last week in what the police say was a case of mistaken identity
‘In the name of Jesus, I invite you to renew your commitment. It’s a commitment, as human beings and as Christians, to protect the life of our people.
‘To prevent another tragedy. It is possible to prevent it. We have friends, social media, we know what is going on.
‘We have friends, relatives. Young people who are here, take courage. Protect your life, watch out.
‘If you see something, say something and do something. Don’t just take the video. Do something,’ said the pastor.
The grieving father was consoled by other mourners before he made his way through the police barricades into the church on Wednesday morning. There was a large NYPD presence at the scene due in part to Lesandro’s ambitions of joining the force
The streets surrounding the church were lined with barricades to control the crowds.
It comes after two days of wakes of vigils outside the bodega where the teenager was murdered.
Seven men, all of whom are said to be members of the Dominican street gang Trintarios, were arrested on Sunday and Monday and charged with his death.
They are Jose Muniz, 21, Jose Taverez, 21, Manuel Rivera, 18, Danel Fernandez, 21, Joniki Martinez, 24,Santiago Rodriguez, 24, and Kevin Alvarez, 19.
Six of the men were arrested in New Jersey and are awaiting extradition to the Bronx where they will face murder charges on Wednesday.
Unbreakable bond: Lesandro kept his hand on his son’s casket as he and other men walked it out of the church after the mass on Wednesday morning
Lesandro Guzman [second right], arrives Our Lady Of Mount Camel church in the Bronx for his son’s funeral on Wednesday morning. All the pall bearers wore Yankees uniforms – The late teen’s favorite team
Disconsolate Leandra Feliz, the teenager’s mother, weeps as she makes her way into the church for his funeral on Wednesday
A chore a parent should never have to perform: Leandra Feliz [second right], waits with an NYPD officer to welcome her son’s coffin at the steps of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Church on Wednesday
Pall bearers carry the teenager’s coffin out of the hearse on Wednesday to take it into the church
Police honor one of their own: As the hearse carrying his casket drove past,NYPD Explorers, the police youth outreach program for future officers, line the streets. Lesandro was a part of program
A mourner holds up a photograph of the slain youth on Wednesday. The boy’s death has sparked outrage in the community and prompted calls for a crackdown on violence
Crowds gathered outside the church on Wednesday to take photographs of the teen’s casket as it was driven past
Members of the NYPD explorers cry outside the church where the funeral was held on Wednesday
NYPD officer comforts a member of the Explorer team
On Tuesday night, 23-year-old Elvin Garcia from the Bronx became the eighth person to be arrested.
His arrest was announced on the steps of the 48th precinct.
Prosecutors allege the men went after Lesandro after mistaking him for a rival gang member who had been filmed having sex with one of the Trintarios’ girlfriends on Snapchat.
As the mourners arrived for the teenager’s funeral on Wednesday Garcia was arraigned.
On Tuesday, during their joint appearance in a New Jersey court, six of the defendants complained that their families were being threatened.
‘Social media has been very active about this case.
Bystander films Bronx bodega killers flee in getaway cars
Five men hack away at one helpless teen with knives, simultaniusly in a barbaric attack
As the injured, staggering teen is thrown out of the bodega – Nobody offers help, no one bothered to call for emergency aid
Not all of the men who were arrested in New Jersey are from there. Around half have addresses in the Bronx but fled the area after footage of the attack was released by the NYPD.
Only one of them was able to communicate with the judge without the help of a translator during Tuesday’s hearing.
After being repeatedly struck with the machete, Junior somehow mustered the strength to run to a hospital up the street which is where he died.
His grieving parents have implored Mayor Bill de Blasio to do more to make the streets safer for young innocent children like Junior who find themselves becoming casualties of the city’s gang warfare.