What to Know
- Hundreds attended the street renaming in honor of the Bronx teen brutally murdered in a machete attack in a NYC street last year
- The street renaming, on the corner of East 183rd Street and Bethgate Avenue, is in honor of 15-year-old Lesandro “Junior” Guzman-Feliz
- The 15-year-old when he was killed by alleged gang members in an apparent case of mistaken identity inside a Bronx bodega in June 2018
It was an emotional Wednesday morning for the hundreds attending the street renaming in honor of the Bronx teen brutally murdered in a machete attack in a New York City street last year.
“Whenever we do these co-naming ceremonies it is for someone who has lived a long and fruitful live,” Ruben Diaz, Jr., Bronx borough president, said. “The fact is, ladies and gentlemen, I wish that we did not have to be here this morning.”
The street renaming, on the corner of East 183rd Street and Bethgate Avenue, is in honor of 15-year-old Lesandro “Junior” Guzman-Feliz, who was just 15 years old when he was killed by alleged gang members in an apparent case of mistaken identity.
“He was a sweet kid. He was a good kid. He never had a fight with nobody,” Junior’s mother, Leandra Feliz, said.
Wednesday’s ceremony took place on the day of Leandra’s birthday, who alongside her husband, proudly accepted the city’s honor recognizing her son.
“Maybe he’s so happy he’s jumping saying, “Mami, don’t worry. I’m alive. I’m waiting for you here,” she said, adding she hoped her son was looking down from heaven.
It was at a Bronx bodega where Junior was brutally murdered in June 2018. The community’s outpouring of love and support has been seen in a mural and, on Wednesday, a lasting legacy at the corner of East 183rd Street.
Junior had dreams of becoming a police officer. Members of the NYPD Explorers Program at Wednesday morning’s memorial remembered their young friend.
“[The renaming] brought some closure,” Junior's friend, Lt. Gradanski, of the NYPD Explorers Program, said. “Even though certain things still remain, but it has brought closure to everybody.”
Area residents embraced Junior’s family Wednesday, vowing to uphold the legacy of saving, protecting and changing the violent street culture after the teen’s shocking and untimely death.
“They aren’t gonna forget him. He’s gonna be remembered forever...forever,” his mother said.