NEW YORK — Police are investigating whether responding officers did enough to help 15-year-old Lesandro “Junior” Guzman-Feliz as he lay dying on the sidewalk in the Bronx after he was hacked with knives and a machete, law enforcement sources told PIX11 News on Thursday.
The investigation is examining whether the officers possibly did not provide enough help to the teen as he was bleeding from the neck in front of a hospital, the sources said. It’s possible the officers could face disciplinary charges, the sources said.
On Friday, NYPD spokesman Phil Walzak said “The Bronx Borough command is reviewing the response."
“There have been no complaints filed regarding the response to the incident, and there is no (Internal Affairs Bureau) investigation,” Walzak continued. “Officers responding to a different call were flagged down by civilians and directed to the victim, and an ambulance arrived just over one minute later.”
The video in which the officers appear shows what would become the final moments of Guzman-Feliz’s young life.
Guzman-Feliz had been dragged out of a bodega on East 183rd Street and Bathgate Avenue on June 20 and set upon by a gang of men, armed with knives and machetes, who hacked at him as he struggled to defend himself. He was slashed in the neck.
Video shows the 15-year-old staggering back into the bodega, pleading for help. When it appears he didn’t get the help he so desperately needed, he took off toward St. Barnabas Hospital a block away. He collapsed in the street outside the hospital.
The killing sparked widespread community outrage over gang violence and the lack of help given to the dying boy, who was part of the NYPD Explorers Program and had dreams of becoming a detective.
A petition has circulated calling for the bodega where he was attacked to be closed permanently.
Investigators said it appears Guzman-Feliz was killed in an apparent case of mistaken identity and the slaying was the work of the Trinitarios gang.
Eight men, all of whom are suspected members of that gang, have been arrested in connection with Guzman-Feliz's death.
The same gang has been blamed for a stabbing that happened two days before Guzman-Feliz was killed and investigators said the attacks are connected.
In the other incident, a 14-year-old boy was chased from a park onto the Bronx River Parkway where he was repeatedly stabbed and left for dead. He was taken to a hospital in critical condition and has lost a kidney.