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What to Know

  • The Bronx bodega where Lesandro Guzman-Feliz was dragged from to his death now has new owners[hhmc]

  • The OCME said Juniors June 20 death was a stab wound to the neck and classified the death as a homicide[hhmc]

  • Alleged gang members have been indicted on murder, manslaughter, conspiracy and other charges[hhmc]

A once bustling Bronx bodega that know serves as a reminder of a heinous crime has changed hands, and those new owners are offering to honor the victim but the parents of the teenager killed there want just one thing instead.

The new owners have offered to name the corner store after Lesandro Guzman-Feliz, also known as "Junior." However, Junior's parents don't want a name change, but instead a different concept: Safety.

"I dont want to put his name here," Lisandro Guzman, Junior's father, said. "I don't celebrate this corner or this bodega that killed my son."

Junior's June 20th slaying has captivated communities nationwide and public interest, partly because the brutal attack was caught on surveillance video where the teen is seen being dragged outside the bodega and attacked by a gang of men who stabbed him with knives and hacked him with a machete as he struggled to defend himself.

Call to Rename NYC Street for Junior Gains Traction

[NY] Call to Rename NYC Street for Junior, Boy Killed in Machete Attack

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

It still pains Junior's mother to walk past that block, a corner she says is "evil."

“When I pass over there I feel my knees shaking from the bottom of my feet,” Leandra Feliz said. “I feel my blood running everywhere and I feel like I am going to faint.”

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In the days after the killing, the bodega's owner received death threats and feared for his safety. The community felt he could have done more to help Junior.

"This is an evil corner," Leandra said. "In a few years we are going to see another death at that corner."

On Wednesday, the New York City Office of the Chief Medical Examiner announced the cause of death for Junior. The OCME said the teens death in the Belmont area of the Bronx was a stab wound to the neck, and classified the death as a homicide.

12 Suspects Appear in Court in NYC Teen's Machete Slaying

[NY] 12 Suspects Appear in Court on Charges Relating to Death of Bronx Teen

A dozen alleged gang members have been indicted in the case. Their due back in court Oct. 25.

Guzman-Feliz had been part of the NYPD's Explorers program, a group for youths interested in a law enforcement career. The New York City Police Foundation announced it planned to set up a scholarship in his name.

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USA Today

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