On Wednesday, a group of men brutally attacked and killed Lesandro “Junior” Guzman-Feliz, a 15-year-old boy who aspired to be a detective. The men dragged him out of a Bronx bodega and repeatedly stabbed him. As reports state that the attackers mistook him for someone else (they reportedly apologized to the family for Junior’s death), there’s been an outpouring of support. A family member started a GoFundMe account that has now received $190,000 – far exceeding the initial $15,000 goal. Many who were “disgusted” by the footage of the crime have called police to provide tips. But it’s not just his community that is rallying behind his family; it’s also celebrities who are providing support and using their platform to draw awareness to this case. Both Carmelo and La La Anthony and Cardi B have backed the family as they mourn.
After Junior’s sister contacted La La and informed her that her brother was a big fan of Carmelo, she took action. “This is what I wanted to do for my birthday today,” she wrote on Instagram. “Thank you to the gram for connecting me to this family. I wanted to offer our love and support to Lesandro ‘Junior’s’ family… I can’t imagine this type of pain and sadness. His family is strong and may God bless them forever. Seeing his family smile when we walked through that door is something I will never forget. Putting my arms around his mom is something I will never forget. Being in his room is something I will never forget.”
La La finished the post by encouraging her followers to donate money to help the family during this trying time.
A few days ago, Bronx native Cardi posted about the murder, expressing outrage at the ways police officers target people of color and contribute to their deaths but don’t do enough to help them when necessary. While she didn’t initially publicize her contribution, she made an $8,000 donation under her real name – Belcalis Almanzar.
When Leandra, Junior’s mom, posted a video message thanking Cardi, the Trini-Dominican rapper followed up with a bilingual message. There, she encouraged her large following to contribute.
Police have arrested six men – Jose Muniz, 21, of Paterson; Jose Taverez, 21, of Bronx, New York; Manuel Rivera, 18, of Bronx; Danel Fernandez, 21, of Bronx; Joniki Martinez, 24, of Freeport, New York; and Santiago Rodriguez, 24, of Bronx – in connection to this murder. Online, people are using the hashtag #JusticeforJunior as they call for law enforcement to act swiftly in this gruesome crime.