To the outrage of many locals, a Bronx bodega located feet away from where suspected Trinitarios gang members reportedly stabbed teen Lesandro “Junior” Guzman-Feliz to death is set to reopen in the near future.
Police told The New York Times that Cruz and Chiky Grocery was recently sold and the new owners plan to reopen. The news has angered many in the Bronx community, who were pushing for the store to be revamped as a church or community center.
Guzman-Feliz’s parents said they aren’t moved by the new owners’ offer to rename the store after their slain son.
“I don’t want to put his name here,” the teen’s father told WNBC.
“I don’t celebrate this corner or this bodega that killed my son.”
The store has been closed since the 15-year-old’s stabbing death. As CrimeOnline previously reported, surveillance cameras captured a group of men attacking the 15-year-old with machetes outside Cruz and Chiky Grocery on the evening of June 20. Police believe the teen was mistaken for being a rival gang member.
Footage also appeared to show a mortally wounded Guzman-Feliz stumbling into the Bronx bodega and being pointed towards the door. The teen reportedly took his last breaths mere steps away from the emergency room.
However, the store’s former owner, Modesto Cruz, presented WPIX with an additional video which he said showed him defending the teen against his attackers. He claimed he had tried to have the teen hide behind a counter but his attackers saw him.
Cruz went on to explain that the ambulance they called was taking too long and that he was pointing him in the direction of a hospital located a few blocks away.
“I just feel very, very bad,” he told WPIX. “I do remember his face. He was so scared.”
[Featured Image: Lesandro Guzman-Feliz/NYPD via AP]