lesandro-guzman-funeral
DON EMMERT/Getty Images

Hundreds Attend Funeral For Lesandro "Junior" Guzman-Feliz

The Bronx teen who was viciously killed by more than half a dozen men was laid to rest Wednesday (June 27).

It was standing-room-only service inside Our Lady Mt. Carmel church in the Belmont section of The Bronx, where mourners said their final goodbyes to Lesandro (Junior) Guzman-Feliz. The 15-year-old's vicious death, captured on video and circulated on social media, ignited grief but prompted an outpouring of tips to help catch the men involved.

Junior's family sat in the first five pews, while members of the New York Police Department attended the funeral in uniform. Members of the community filled the church.

Pallbearers wearing jeans and New York Yankee jerseys carried the teen's casket out of the church and placing it inside the hearse.

At 11:30 PM ET on June 20, Junior left his Bronx apartment to loan a friend $5. When his mother realized he was taking long to return, she called him. Surveillance footage from the night shows Junior running into a bodega on East 183rd Street and Bathgate Avenue in an attempt to hide. Junior was then dragged out of the deli where he was stabbed and slashed multiple times by more than half a dozen men. He then ran towards St. Barnabas Hospital where he collapsed outside of the emergency room and died.

Law enforcement believes Junior was wrongly targeted in a case of mistaken identity. It's also reported the attack was prompted by the Dominican gang, Trinitarios. While a motive has not been made clear, it's said a female cousin of one of the gang members was seen having sex on a Snapchat video with a young man, and Junior's attack was retribution.

As of Monday (June 25), seven men connected to the murder were held in police custody. Kevin Alvarez, 19, was charged with second-degree murder and is described as the man on the video seen dragging Junior "through the threshold." On Tuesday (June 26), an eighth suspect was taken in. According to The New York Post, Elvin Garcia was charged with murder, manslaughter and criminal possession of a machete.

“The brutal nature of this crime, we will leave literally no stone unturned until we make sure that we get justice and we make sure that everyone involved in this incident is brought to justice,” Dermot Shea, NYPD Chief of Detectives, said.

City Councilman Ritchie Torres is calling for the life imprisonment of the gang members.

“Gang members who drag a young teen out of a bodega and then hack him to death repeatedly with knives and a machete deserve to rot in prison for the rest of their lives.”

READ MORE: #JusticeForJunior: 6 Facts On The Murder Of Lesandro Guzman-Feliz

From the Web

More on Vibe

Sean Rayford/Getty Images

Disturbing Footage From Aftermath Of Ahmaud Arbery’s Murder Released

Travis McMichael , the man who shot and killed Ahmaud Arbery can be seen drenched in blood as he speaks with authorities in new body camera video obtained by the Glynn County police.

The footage, first reported by the Atlanta-Journal Constitution on Monday (Dec. 14), shows Travis McMichael recounting the deadly incident with authorities. His hands and forearms are covered in Arbery’s blood.

One police officer at the scene attempts to calm Travis McMichael before gently asking him if there’s anyone that he wants them to call on his behalf. She goes on to explain that he has to go to the police station as a formality, and asks if he sustained any injuries.

Travis McMichael paces around with his hands in his pockets, at times wiping blood of his arms and face, while blaming Arbery for his own murder. Arbery’s body lay on the ground and he was still breathing at one point in the video, according to USA Today.

While authorities investigate the shooting, Travis McMichael appears agitated and tells an officer, “I want it [the investigation] done right, because this doesn’t look good. I mean, I just shot a man. Last thing I’ve ever wanted to do in my life.”

Arbery, 25, was out for a jog before being chased in a pick-up truck, cornered and gunned down by Travis McMichael with his father, Greg McMichael, a retired investigator for the Brunswick Judicial Circuit D.A.’s office, by his side. Despite having no proof, father and son claim that they thought Arbery had been burglarizing the neighborhood.

Greg McMichael reportedly backed up his son’s account to police stating that his son “had no choice” but to kill Arbery. At least one  officer at the crime scene was familiar with Greg McMichael from his years in law enforcement and recent retirement.

In an additional recording, Greg McMichael says that he would have “shot him myself” and continues accusing Arbery of being the aggressor. “The guy turns and comes at him [Travis], and they start wrestling and Travis shoots him right in the damn chest,” he tells police. “The guy was trying to take the shotgun away from him [Travis].”

A third man, neighbor William “Roddie” Bryan filmed the incident on his cell phone and was later arrested for murder along with the McMichaels. Bryan has since questioned if they should have been following Arbery in the first place.

All three men remain jailed as they await trial on murder charges.

Click here to watch the body cam footage, but please be warned that the video is explicit.

Continue Reading
Evelyn Hockstein/For The Washington Post via Getty Images

Bowie State And More HBCUs Receive Record-Breaking Donations From Billionaire

MacKenzie Scott is back at it! The billionaire venture philanthropist, novelist, and ex-wife of Amazon boss Jeff Bezos, has donated tens of millions of dollars to several HBCUs in the last few days.

The week's isn't over yet, but so far, Scott has donated well over $100 million to historically Black colleges including Tougaloo College, which received $6 million on Wednesday (Dec. 16).

A day earlier, Scott gave a record $40 million each to Morgan State and Norfolk University, $25 million to Alcorn State University and Bowie State, $20 million to the University of Maryland Eastern Shore , and $15 million to Elizabeth City University.

Morgan State's $40 million gift is the largest single-party donation in the HBCU’s history, and the second-largest donation to a public Maryland university. 

“This monumental gift will change lives and shape futures,” Morgan State President David Wilson said in a statement. “I thank Ms. Scott for her due diligence and acknowledgement of the substantive value Morgan offers to so many throughout this nation and around the world, and entrusting that we will ensure the enduring impact of her generosity is truly transformational for many years to come.”

A majority of the donated funds will go to Morgan State’s newly established endowment fund. The remainder of the money will be used to continue the university’s efforts “essential to student success,” as well as advancing research and enhancing investments in other “mission-focused priorities and initiatives.”

Scott also donated millions to Howard University, Clark Atlanta and Delaware State University.

Her latest HBCU donation spree is a small portion of the $4 billion that she has given away over the last four months. The multi-billion dollar charitable windfall has been dispersed to 384 organizations and educational institutions in all 50 states, plus Puerto Rico and Washington D.C.

And she’s still not done.

“Though I’m far from completing my pledge, this year of giving began with exposure to leaders from historically marginalized groups fighting inequities, and ended with exposure to thousands of organizations working to alleviate suffering for those hardest hit by the pandemic,” Scott wrote in a post on Medium.com. “Witnessing the determination, creativity, and compassion of people in a crisis has been inspiring.”

Continue Reading
Sean Rayford/Getty Images

Father And Son Who Brutally Murdered Ahmaud Arbery Denied Bail

Travis and Gregory McMichael, the father-son duo charged for the brutal murder of Ahmaud Arbery, were denied bail and must remain behind bars, a judge ruled on Friday (Nov. 13). Arbery’s mother, Wanda Cooper-Jones, urged the judge to keep Travis, 34, and Gregory, 64, in custody.

“These men are proud of what they've done,” she said according to NBC News. “In their selfish minds, they think they're good guys.”

William “Roddie” Bryan, a neighbor to the McMichales', was denied bail over the summer.

Bryan recorded Arbery’s murder. All three men have been indicted on suspicion of malice murder, felony murder, aggravated assault, false imprisonment and criminal attempt to commit false imprisonment.

Investigators found racist text messages and social media posts from Travis McMichael,  Cobb County prosecutors noted in court on Thursday. Bryan also told authorities that he heard Travis use the n-word after fatally shooting Arbery.

Arbery, 25, was out for a jog in late February when the men, approached, cornered, and shot him to death. The incident was recorded on Bryan’s cell phone.

Continue Reading

Top Stories