Justice for Junior: 7 suspects appear in court in murder of innocent Bronx teen

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15-year-old viciously murdered at Bronx bodega (1 of 3)

NYPD Commissioner discusses officers response in Bronx teen murder case

Commissioner James O'Neill said he does not see any wrongdoing by two officers (WABC)

Seven of the eight suspects arrested in the brutal murder of a 15-year-old boy in the Bronx made their first court appearances Wednesday, as thousands of mourners gathered to bid a final farewell to the boy affectionately known as Junior.

RELATED: NYPD Commissioner discusses whether responding officers failed to help Bronx stabbing victim

Six men were extradited from Paterson, New Jersey, to join the two others who were arrested in the Bronx. They are facing charges ranging from first-degree murder to assault in the death of Lesandro Guzman-Feliz.

The suspects were ordered held without bail and are due back in court on July 2

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Suspects arrested in the brutal murder of a 15-year-old boy in the Bronx are escorted from the 48th Precinct.



The attack happened outside a bodega on East 183rd Street and Bathgate Avenue in the Tremont section just after 11:30 p.m. last Wednesday, in what authorities believe was a case of mistaken identity that left the entire community outraged.

Guzman-Feliz was dragged outside and slashed and stabbed with a machete after police say the group of gang members mistook him for a rival. The teen, who had hopes of becoming an NYPD detective, tried to run to St. Barnabas Hospital a block away but collapsed on the sidewalk.

RELATED:After innocent Bronx teen's death, lawmakers take aim at gang violence

Kevin Alvarez, 19, was the first to be arrested Sunday night. He was charged with second-degree murder, manslaughter, gang assault and assault.

Police then raided a house in Paterson known as a hangout for the gang allegedly involved in the murder, taking six suspects into custody.

Their names and charges are as follows:
--Jose Muniz, 21, of Paterson: First- and second-degree murder, manslaughter, gang assault and assault with intent to cause serious injury with a weapon
--Jose Taverez, 21, of the Bronx: Second-degree murder, manslaughter, gang assault and assault with intent to cause serious injury with a weapon

--Manuel Rivera, 18, of the Bronx: Second-degree murder, manslaughter, gang assault and assault with intent to cause serious injury with a weapon, and criminal possession of a weapon
--Daniel Fernandez, 21, of the Bronx: Second-degree murder, manslaughter, gang assault and assault with intent to cause serious injury with a weapon
--Jonaiki Martinez-Estrella, 24, of Freeport: First- and second-degree murder, manslaughter, gang assault and assault with intent to cause serious injury with a weapon
--Antonio Santiago-Hernandez, 24, of the Bronx: First- and second-degree murder, manslaughter, gang assault and assault with intent to cause serious injury with a weapon
Then on Tuesday, 23-year-old Elvin Garcia was arrested in the Bronx. He is charged with first- and second-degree murder, manslaughter and criminal possession of weapon.

Authorities identified Martinez-Estrella, who has a prior arrest for robbing and beating a 14-year-old with a golf club in 2016, as the one who sliced the victim's neck.

"This investigation is not over," NYPD Chief of Detectives Dermot Shea said. "The brutal nature of this crime, we will leave literally no stone unturned."

Authorities say the men are all members of the Trinitarios gang, which is also believed to be involved in the stabbing of a 14-year-old on the Bronx River Parkway last week.
The NYPD is now cracking down on that gang..

"Pick up a gun, pick up a machete, rob an elderly victim walking home from the train is a one-way ticket to prison," Shea said.

VIDEO: Funeral held for Lesandro Guzman-Feliz in Bronx
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Joe Torres reports from outside the church in the Bronx.



Meanwhile, more than 100 people turned out to Mount Carmel Recreation Center Wednesday night for a parental gang awareness town hall planned two months ago.

The NYPD Gang Squad hosted the meeting, trying to steer children away from gangs and teach parents how to identify if their kids are being lured in.

VIDEO: NYPD cracking down on violent Trinitarios street gang after spate of incidents
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NJ Burkett reports on the Dominican gang behind the murder of 15-year-old Lesandro "Junior" Guzman-Feliz.



Security cameras outside the bodega captured the gruesome murder of Guzman-Feliz, and authorities said they expect more arrests in the coming days and weeks.

"They did him like an animal, and the people who did this, in my opinion, today, should not get justice at all," mourner Kenneth Kelly said. "They should be sentenced to life without parole."

The NYPD said they added extra staff to the CrimeStoppers tip line because they received a "torrent of tips" related to the case. The public is urged to continue to provide information, and anyone with information should call 1800-577-TIPS.
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murderteen killedjustice for juniorganggang activitygang violencecourtcourt caseinvestigationu.s. & worldNew York CityBronxTremont
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