New Jersey

Mom of 15-Year-Old Boy Slain in NYC Machete Attack Says Killers ‘Changed My Heart'

The teenager, known as Junior, was stabbed in the neck with a machete in front of a Bronx bodega last week

What to Know

  • Seven people have been arrested in connection with the fatal stabbing of 15-year-old Lesandro Guzman-Feliz
  • The teenager, known as Junior, was stabbed in the neck with a machete in front of a Bronx bodega last week
  • It's not clear if authorities are still looking for other suspects

UPDATE: 6 Waive Extradition in NYC Boy's Machete Kill, Face Death Threats Against Themselves and Their Families

Six of the seven suspects arrested in connection with the deadly machete attack on a 15-year-old boy outside a busy Bronx bodega last week are expected to face an extradition hearing Tuesday in the case, which has drawn national attention for its brutality. 

The slaying of 15-year-old Lesandro Guzman-Feliz, who dreamed of being a police officer, was captured on surveillance video. He was dragged outside the bodega and set upon by a gang of men who hacked at him as he struggled to defend himself, the video shows.

The boy was slashed in the neck and died after running to a hospital three blocks away.

Cops announced the arrest of the first suspect, 19-year-old Kevin Alvarez, of the Bronx, Sunday on charges of second-degree murder, manslaughter, gang assault and assault. Police sources tell News 4 that Alvarez may have been the one seen in surveillance video dragging the boy from the store. 

Six more suspects, men between the ages of 18 and 24 from the Bronx, Long Island, and Paterson, New Jersey, were charged overnight.

Alvarez faced an angry crowd outside the police station where he was initially processed Monday; emerging from the station Sunday night, people screamed for justice for Guzman-Feliz. "That was a baby!" one person screamed at Alvarez. His attorney said his client and his client's family "have expressed that their hearts go out to the victim in this case." 

A memorial for Guzman-Feliz, known to his friends as Junior, continues to grow. Family and friends of the boy, who had been part of the NYPD’s Law Enforcement Explorers program, say his attackers mistook him for someone else. 

On Monday, after learning of the additional half-dozen arrests, Guzman-Feliz's father said, "I want these people in jail for life. That's what I want."

He said he was grateful for the outpouring of support. Celebrities including Cardi B and Rihanna have taken to social media to express their sorrow over the boy's killing; former Knicks star Carmelo Anthony and wife Lala went to the family's Bronx home when they heard Junior was a fan of Anthony. 

"I can't imagine this type of pain and sadness," Lala Anthony wrote on her Instagram, posting a photo of her and Carmelo with Junior's mother. "His family is strong and may God bless them forever." 

Guzman-Feliz's father, showing a fresh tattoo of his son on the back of his hand, said Monday, "I'm surprised everybody come to check it out for my son.  My son's a really good boy. So I'm really happy for everyone supporting me."

Guzman-Feliz's mother, meanwhile, has said the alleged killers have "changed my heart."

"I feel different," Leandra Feliz said. "They killed me."

It's not clear if police are looking for additional suspects in the case.

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