Funeral services were held for 15-year-old Lesandro Guzman-Feliz Wednesday morning at Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Church in the Bronx.
A makeshift memorial has continued to grow for the teen, who was known as Junior, outside of the Cruz and Chiky grocery on E. 183rd street, where the teen was stabbed by several alleged members of a local gang in a vicious attack captured by surveillance cameras.
His father spoke out at the memorial Monday, thanking everyone for their support. Hundreds of candles filled the sidewalk.
“My heart is breaking” his father, Lisandro Guzman, said at the memorial. "Thank you for everybody here." He has since gotten a tattoo of Junior's face on his hand to memorialize his son.
On Tuesday another wake was held for the teen and a large group gathered to retrace Junior’s last steps. In video of the attack, Junior can be seen trying to escape inside a grocery store before he was dragged out by his assailants and stabbed numerous times with knives and machetes.
After the attack, he managed to run to nearby Saint Barnabas Hospital, but died before he could reach the emergency room.
Employees at the grocery store have come under fire for allegedly turning the teen away as he sought safety inside. City council members are demanding the closure of the store in the aftermath of Junior’s death.
In a letter to the Department of Consumer Affairs Monday, Council members Ritchie Torres, Vanessa Gibson and Rafael Salamanca said the Cruz and Chiky Grocery on E. 183rd St. did not show the "good moral character" required of licensed businesses.
Celebrities like Cardi B, a Bronx native, have spoken out about the slaying. The pregnant star posted to Instagram about the teen’s death, saying, “These Bronx streets are ruthless." She also donated $8,000 to the family’s GoFundMe page, which has raised nearly $300,000.
Eight suspects have been arrested in connection with the murder. Police have said the brutal crime was a case of mistaken identity by members of a local gang, the Trinitarios. Gang members allegedly mistook Junior for another teen who had allegedly been seen in a Snapchat video having sex with a cousin of one of the alleged gang members.
A relative of Junior, who did not wish to be identified, said one of the gang members sent an apology on Snapchat, admitting they thought Junior was someone else at the time of the attack, CBS New York reported.
One of the suspects, 19-year-old Kevin Alvarez, was charged Monday with second-degree murder, manslaughter and gang assault. He has pleaded not guilty.
The Passaic County Prosecutor’s Office also arrested 21-year-old Jose Tavarez, 18-year-old Manuel Rivera, 21-year-old Daniel Fernandez, 24-year-old Santiago Rodriguez, 21-year-old Jose Muniz and 24-year-old Jonki Martinez on Sunday.
They are expected to face charges Wednesday in New York after waving extradition hearings, police said.
Elvin Garcia, 23, of Manhattan, was arrested and charged Tuesday with murder, manslaughter and criminal possession of a weapon, police said.
“Thank God they were caught,” Leandra Feliz, Junior's mother, told CBS 2. “It’s good because they have to pay but I want my son back. If they could give me the life of my son I’d be happy."