What to Know
- One teenager, known as Junior, was stabbed in the neck with a machete in front of a Bronx bodega last week; he died
- Another teen, a 14-year-old, was attacked by a shirtless mob in the middle of the Bronx River Parkway, also last week
- Eight people have been arrested in the first case; at least one in the second case, and cops believe they're linked to the same gang
The deadly machete attack on a 15-year-old boy in the Bronx and the shirtless mob attack on a 14-year-old boy in the middle of a highway in the same borough are thought to be connected to the same gang, authorities say.
NYPD Chief of Detectives Dermot Shea made the comment at an unrelated press conference Wednesday, at the same time family and friends mourning Lesandro Guzman-Feliz carried his casket, draped in white, from a church, where thousands of tearful people gathered for his funeral, to a hearse waiting outside.
Cops previously said last week's machete killing of Guzman-Feliz, a case that has drawn national attention for its caught-on-camera brutality, appeared to be linked to the Trinitarios gang. Asked whether that slaying was connected to the mid-highway attack on a 14-year-old boy who remains in critical condition, Shea said, "There is a connection."
"What I will say in broad terms is there are a number of incidents that are being explored for links and connections recently dealing with the Trinitarios," he added.
The attacks happened two days apart -- on June 18 and June 21. The victim in the first attack, who was beaten and stabbed in the middle of a shirtless mob on the Bronx River Parkway as rush-hour cars slowed to watch the fray, has not been identified publicly. At least one suspect has been arrested in the case, and police say they are looking for additional persons of interest.
Three days later came the machete attack on Guzman-Feliz. Horrifying video showed the boy dragged outside the bodega and set upon by a gang of men who hacked at him as he struggled to defend himself. The boy was slashed in the neck and died after running to a hospital three blocks away.
Thousands, including many friends and family members wearing Yankees jerseys in honor of the boy's longtime fandom, mourned Guzman-Feliz at a funeral Wednesday. His burial came a day after an eighth person was arrested in the case, the boy's family has said was a case of mistaken identity.
Both investigations remain active and ongoing. Both attacks were caught on camera -- and while Guzman-Feliz's death has garnered more national attention, Shea asked that the boy in the other attack not be forgotten.
"That's a 14-year-old kid chased onto a highway and stabbed multiple times," he said. "I don't think there's enough outcry about that incident."
Shea said he didn't want to focus solely on the Trinitarios because many gangs operate in the city. A day earlier, he had said authorities "will not tolerate thugs on the streets of the Bronx, whether it's Trinitarios or any other gang."
And Shea reiterated that Wednesday.
"One incident is too many and we still have a lot of work to do," he said.