Members of a murderous street gang apologized for the savage killing of a 15-year-old Bronx boy, saying they mistook the teen for someone else, the victim’s family said Saturday.
A relative of Lesandro (Junior) Guzman-Feliz said he got several mea culpaFacebook messages from men who said they were members of the Trinitarios, a Dominican gang.
The supposed gang members said they killed Lesandro in error, said the teen’s brother-in-law Derek Grullon.
“They said, ‘We had the wrong person,’” said Grullon, 19.
Grullon said his wife, who is Lesandro’s sister, got similar messages.
Cops were investigating Saturday the possibility that the killing was somehow related to a sex tape circulating on social media, which shows a teen boy rapping, while a second teen boy has sex with a teen girl whose face is covered with a shirt.
Grullon said the messages he received were aimed at clearing Lesandro’s name.
Five men jumped and killed Lesandro around 11:40 p.m. Wednesday outside the Cruz and Chiky Grocery store on the corner of E. 183rd St. and Bathgate Ave. in Belmont. Video showed the men stabbing Lesandro repeatedly with machetes.
Lesandro’s mom, Leandra Feliz, 38, spent much of Saturday praying as she tried to cope with the loss of her son.
“A little kid, alone with no weapon. Five men with machetes came for one little kid,” she said, sitting on a couch in their living room where her son often played video games. “”These are men, not kids.”
Feliz said if she met the killers, she’d ask: “Why did you kill my son? My son is a good boy. He doesn’t even know how to fight.”
Feliz said her son’s dream was to be a police officer. “He was one of the good kids in the Bronx. He liked to play PlayStation, he liked pizza, he liked Dave & Busters,” she said.
Lesandro was a member of the Explorers, an NYPD-sponsored club mainly composed of high school students who receive mentoring and encouragement from cops.
“He has never been in any fight, never, in 15 years,” his mother said.
“He was innocent. He never grew up on the streets. He was with me all the time.”
“The way they killed my son, they are going to kill other people,” Feliz said.
The savage crime shocked the Bronx, and cast a pall over the street where Lesandro grew up. “All the kids from the block are scared to come out on the street,” his mom said.
Hundreds of angry social media posts called for Lesandro’s killers to be brought to justice.
“A 15-year-old boy is jumped and stabbed by a group of grown ass men, while no one helps, and i mean NO ONE,” one person tweeted on the JusticeforJunior hashtag. “He literally ran himself to the hospital before bleeding out outside the hospital, it says enough about the world we live in.”
A GoFundMe page, “Justice for Junior,” had raised $50,000 for Lesandro’s family by Saturday afternoon — above its goal of $15,000. The donations came from 2,347 people.
No one has been arrested, and no one is in custody, police said.
Cardi B took to Instagram about Junior death. Cardi B was born and raised in the Bronx.
#justiceforjunior 🇩🇴R.I.P. .These Bronx streets are ruthless .What piss me off the most is that these BX cops be harassing the shit outta people then they see a boy bleeding to death and ask what happen ?“uuuummmmmmmm😤😤😤 How bout you call the ambulance like ya be calling for back up when ya see nikkas smoking in front of a building !!!!! People be like”call the police!” Call the police!!” But for what the operators be asking you questions for like 4 minutes on the phone with an attitude and the cops come maaa lateeee.
NYPD Chief of Detectives Dermot Shea and Chief of Department Terence Monahan pledged late Friday to catch the killers.
“He was never going to give up on his dream of being an NYPD detective & WE’LL NEVER GIVE UP ON HIM,” Shea wrote on Twitter with the JusticeForJunior hashtag.
Added Monahan, “The stabbing murder of this young man is among the most brutal crimes I’ve seen in my 36yr career. NYPD Detectives are working hard to capture these killers.”
The NYPD released photos of the men suspected of stabbing Lesandro. Cops also released a photo of a white vehicle and a dark-colored sedan at least two of the suspects were seen entering.
Anyone with information can call NYPD Crime Stoppers at (800) 577-TIPS. Calls are confidential.