Note: This article contains coarse language that may offend or disturb some readers.
A 15-year-old boy who was mistakenly stabbed to death in the Bronx repeatedly expressed to his mother that he wanted to be a police officer when he became an adult.
Surveillance video from June 20 shows five different men, one of whom is clearly holding a large knife. The men are accused of going into a Bronx bodega and dragging 15-year-old Lesandro Guzman-Feliz out onto the sidewalk.
Watch the video below:
— New York City Alerts (@NYCityAlerts) June 22, 2018
A graphic second video shows the gang repeatedly stabbing the young boy before running away.
According to the New York Post, the horrifically injured teen ran toward St. Barnabus Hospital, located about a half-mile away from the bodega.
However, he died due to his injuries just a few feet away from the hospital.
“I have no reason to live my life,” his mom, Leandra Feliz, told the New York Post. “They kill him. They kill me, too. I’m ready to die. You can put me with my son.”
She explained that her son was always a good kid and shared that he wanted to become a police officer since he was 5 years old when he would tell her, “Mommy, I want to be a police.”
“His dream in the future was to be a detective,” she said.
Thank you for the many, many valuable tips. We are working 24/7 reviewing each and every tip submitted and making significant progress. It’s an expansive investigation with one salient objective: #JusticeForJunior pic.twitter.com/42HhStYvrJ
— Chief Dermot F. Shea (@NYPDDetectives) June 24, 2018
According to the New York Post, the 15-year-old was enrolled in the NYPD Explorers program, which is open to people from ages 14 to 20 who are interested in pursuing a career in law enforcement.
The grieving mother said he didn’t know of her son having any problems with anyone, never had a fight, “and all his friends love him.”
While Feliz is bewildered as to why her son was brutally murdered, the teen’s brother-in-law, Derek Grullon, reportedly received messages from the gang saying the killing was a mistake.
“They said, ‘We had the wrong person,'” the 19-year-old told the New York Daily News.
“He [the gang leader] said they kicked all of them out of the gang,” Grullon added during an interview with the New York Post. “I know it doesn’t mean a lot. It wasn’t supposed to be him.”
The men, who are reportedly members of the Dominican gang Trinitarios, also sent messages to Grullon’s wife, Lesandro’s sister.
According to the New York Post, Lesandro was mistaken for a teen who appeared in a sex tape, which reportedly included a young woman who may be related to one of the attackers.
The family called for a boycott of the bodega, where various people stood by and watched the 15-year-old being dragged out of the store, and a memorial was erected outside the store.
Growing outrage over vicious killing of 15-year-old Lesandro Guzman-Feliz. And outrage at bodega bc video shows did nothing to help. Shuttered after Feliz family called for boycott. Teen was stabbed to death with machetes by a group of at least 6 men. #JusticeForJunior 1/2 pic.twitter.com/xaE025Rgj6
— CeFaan Kim (@CeFaanKim) June 24, 2018
A GoFundMe page far surpassed its fundraising goal of $15,000, by raising over $100,000 and people also took to social media to express their outrage over the killing and condolences to his family.
Rapper Cardi B, who is a Bronx native, posted a photo on Instagram of the teen’s mom embracing him for the last time.@iamcardib/Instagram
Boxer Ishé Smith said his murder has “broken my heart” and expressed his hope that the killers would be “found and punished at the highest degree of the law.”
The story of Lesandro (Junior) Guzman-Feliz has broken my heart…don’t know why it’s impacting me so much but I have become outraged by this young mans story and horrific death. I hope all these killers are found and punished at the highest degree of the law. #justice4junior
— Ishé Smith (@IsheSugarShay) June 24, 2018
New York Yankees pitcher CC Sabathia also expressed his condolences on Twitter and said that as a father himself, he “couldn’t imagine losing any one of my own kids.”
“The violence and hate needs to stop,” he added.
It hurts me every time I see a story like this in the news. I’m a father of four and couldn’t imagine losing any one of my own kids. The violence and hate needs to stop. There’s too much other stuff already going on in this world. #JusticeForJunior pic.twitter.com/OdMv9Vs1Uu
— CC Sabathia (@CC_Sabathia) June 23, 2018
Police have requested the public’s help in identifying the men from the surveillance video and have issued a $2,500 reward for information regarding the murder.