BRONX, N.Y. — A street in the Bronx will be renamed for slain teen Lesandro "Junior" Guzman-Feliz and on Monday the public was given a preview of what the signs will look like.
Monday's event at East 183rd Street and Bathgate Avenue was not the actual street renaming ceremony, but rather a showcase for renderings of what the street signs will look like, officials said.
The renaming still needs to be approved by the City Council.
Voting on street renamings occurs twice a year, once halfway through and once at the end, Bronx City Councilman Ritchie Torres said. He expects the official street renaming ceremony will take place in January 2019.
During the unveiling, Torres said of Guzman-Feliz: "His is a name that will never be forgotten. His is a death that will never be in vain."
The intersection where the announcement was made marks the spot where the 15-year-old was viciously beaten by a group of reputed members of the Trinitarios gang the night of June 20.
Guzman-Feliz was chased for blocks by his attackers, who were allegedly out searching for rivals. They mistook Guzman-Feliz for a rival gang member, police said.
The teen ran into a bodega at East 183rd Street and Bathgate Avenue and tried to hide, but his attackers dragged him from the shop and hacked at him with knives and a machete. He suffered a lethal slash to his throat.
Widely shared surveillance video shows Guzman-Feliz stumbling back into the bodega then being pointed toward the door — a move the bodega owner said was meant to urge the teen to run to a nearby hospital because an ambulance was taking too long.
Mortally wounded, Guzman-Feliz set out from the bodega but collapsed on the sidewalk and died before he made it to the hospital.
The brutal killing sparked widespread community outrage and spurred the allocation of $18 million to fight gang violence in the borough. A petition circulated calling for the closure of the bodega, which has yet to reopen. On Monday, workers were allowed back into the store to clean.
"Justice for Junior" became a rallying cry.
"The legacy that 'Junior' leaves behind, summed up in the hashtag 'Justice for Junior,' has been an awakening for all of us," Torres said. "The images of 'Junior’s' death have become to our time what the images of Emmett Till was to his own time. These images have made us more aware, more awakened to the sheer horror of gang violence in our midst."
Torres continued, saying fighting gang violence in the community was only part of what can be done.
"I recognize that interrupting and preventing gang violence is only part of what we must do. We must also commemorate the life and legacy of Lesandro 'Junior' Guzman-Feliz," Torres said.
The teen's mother, Leandra Feliz, told those gathered at Monday's event she was happy about the sign, but wanted more.
"I want to see justice for my son after this honor. Thank you so much for the honor, but I want more. I want justice for my son. I don’t know what else to say. I have too much emotion," she said.
In the weeks after his death, a massive memorial grew at the site where he was attacked. It spanned blocks and was made of thousands of candles, photos, stuffed animals and other mementos. Murals have been created in Guzman-Feliz's honor.
Monday's event is the latest move to remember the teen who was a member of the NYPD Explorer's Program and had dreams of becoming a detective.
Watch Bronx City Councilman Ritchie Torres and Guzman-Feliz's mother Leandra Feliz announce the street renaming plans: