A suspect will be arraigned Monday in the brutal stabbing of a 15-year-old Lesandro “Junior” Guzman-Feliz, according to CBS New York.
19-year-old Kevin Alvarez is the first of five suspects to be arraigned in connection with the teen’s death. Alvarez faces multiple charges including second-degree murder, manslaughter and gang assault after police located him in the Bronx.
“Thank God they caught him,” his mother, Leandra Feliz said. “They have to pay — what they did to my son. My son was innocent.”
Authorities were able to track down all five suspects–one who fled to the Dominican Republic and the remaining three in Paterson, New Jersey, the New York Daily News reports. Police believe the men are gang affiliated.
Guzman-Feliz’s death rocked social media as it was made apparent the teen was the victim of a brutal attack intended for someone else. An alleged gang member sent several messages to the teen’s family on social media to apologize for the stabbing.
“They’re just saying it wasn’t for Junior, it was somebody else but they confused them and they said sorry and they apologize and they send their condolences,” a relative of teen said. “But he’s gone. That doesn’t change anything.”
Police believe the men were looking for revenge after a sex tape was released which showed an unidentified male teen rapping, while a second teen boy has sex with a teenage girl.
On Wednesday a group of men dragged and beat Guzman-Feliz outside of a local bodega. The teen tried to defend himself, but was also stabbed multiple times with a machete. The 15-year-old later summoned enough strength to run to Saint Barnabas hospital for help, where he later died. A memorial service for the teen will be held on Monday.
The teen’s death saw an outpouring of support over the weekend from celebrities and supporters as a surveillance video of his final moments was released.
His family says he was a loving teen with a bright future ahead of him and had dreams of one day joining the NYPD. He was a member of the NYPD’s Explorers, a youth mentoring program which introduces teens to careers in law enforcement.
The family has set up a GoFundMe in his name, which has raised over $150,000 to date.