Just like the rest of New York, the vicious and heartless murder of 15-year-old Junior shocked and outraged veteran NYPD bosses.
“It pisses me off quite frankly," said NYPD Chief of Detectives, Dermot Shea.
A year ago in the Bronx, Lesandro Guzman-Feliz, who everyone called “Junior” was slashed and chopped to death by members of the Trinitarios, a Dominican gang. Most of it was captured on surveillance and cell phone video.
The teen, who was mistaken for a rival gang member, tried to escape his attackers on 183rd street and Bathgate Avenue, but was dragged out of a bodega and cut multiple times.
"[They’re] blocks that I patrolled, I knew intimately ... and the fact that grown men would drive around the streets of New York City and hunt down someone bothers me greatly," said Chief Shea.
A year later, Chief Shea says the police department is keeping a close watch on what it describes as a small number of violent gangs and crews willing to kill for senseless reasons.
"There are still gang issues on the streets of New York City and to ignore it, quite frankly, would be irresponsible," Cheif Shea said. “We also know kids who have taken a few steps down on that wrong path and we do a lot of work to get them as far off that path as possible without having any negative interaction with the criminal justice system."
Junior's mother, who has been outspoken since her son's murder, says she wants young people to run away from gangs because they only lead to jail or death.
"With the gang, you are not going to win nothing, you are only going to be lose, lose, lose,” Leandra Feliz said. “Life in jail or somebody kill you."
Five of Junior's attackers were convicted of murder last Friday.
Eight others are still facing charges, but are negotiating possible plea deals.
Chief Shea says the only way to prevent gang violence is to help people escape gang life and for everyone to come together against those who want to cause violence and mayhem.
"We all, all parts of the criminal justice systems and all parts of the community
and down the road...This is everyone's problem to make sure that no one goes through something like this again," said Chief Shea.