THE BRONX — Three young women who live across the street from the bodega sidewalk where Lesandro “Junior” Guzman-Feliz was fatally stabbed by a mob on June 20 told PIX11 News they ran to the store—and then St. Barnabas Hospital—after the vicious attack.
“Something told me to run, and when I recognized it was him, I didn’t want to believe it,” said 18-year old Jamie, who said she had watched 15-year old Junior grow up on Bathgate Avenue from the time he was a toddler.
Jamie, her sister and another roommate, Tamika, saw the 20-second assault from their 5th floor bedroom windows, telling PIX11 they were screaming at the attackers to stop. Multiple men were captured on surveillance and cell phone footage plunging knives repeatedly into Junior’s body. One assailant had a machete. The roommates said they didn’t shoot video and felt compelled to act after the savagery they witnessed.
“I didn’t know he ran to the hospital,” said Jamie, who threw on her shoes and raced down five flights, out the front door.
They found the teen before he died.
“He was gasping for air, asking us for water,” said Tamika, who was among the group that ran first to the bodega and then to the hospital a block away to find Junior.
Junior had collapsed near the hospital security booth, situated at the base of a hill that leads to the emergency room.
“My girlfriend took off her shirt and held the wound,” Jamie said, referring to the lethal cut to Junior’s neck, which was the cut that killed him.
“Everyone just stood around while we were there helping him,” Tamika said.
The group knew it couldn’t lift Junior, because he was bleeding internally—and profusely.
“His last words were ‘water, water,’” Tamika recalled.
The young women said they reached out to PIX11, because they wanted people to know that some in the community had tried to help Junior.
Two of the women are nieces of the bodega owner, who was widely criticized for allowing the attackers to drag Junior out of the store, after the terrified teen had jumped over the counter and tried to hide from his pursuers following a 5-block chase.
After Junior was stabbed repeatedly, one attacker threw him against the bodega door and he had stumbled inside, seeking assistance. The owner and an elderly customer pointed him toward the hospital a block away. Police said the owner did call 911.
Junior had mustered every ounce of his strength to run up the inclined E. 183rd Street toward the hospital.
He was walking slowly by the time he crossed Third Avenue and reached the outside of St. Barnabas.
“He was like really holding on, he’s strong,” Jamie said.
But the loss of blood was too great, and Junior was pronounced dead around midnight, with his mother, Leandra, summoned from her nearby apartment.
Tamika’s daughter, who is just two years old, remains traumatized by the violent incident that she witnessed, as well.
Tamika’s roommate described how scared the child is.
“Sometimes, she will wake up in the middle of the night and she’ll start crying,” the roommate said. “She will also hide in a closet sometimes. She says, ‘Get the bad men.’”
The NYPD arrested 14 suspects in the murder case and another man is a cooperating witness.
But the 2 -year-old girl who lives across the street from the bodega still doesn’t feel safe.
“It’s sad she had to see that,” remarked one of the witnesses.