THE BRONX — It was a bittersweet moment for the mother of Lesandro “Junior” Guzman-Feliz, who was killed earlier this year by alleged gang members, when she thanked the owner of a bodega who acted quickly to save the life of another teen in a separate attack last month.
Edward Lara owns a bodega in Highbridge. Last month he heard a 16-year-old plea for help in his store, and immediately grabbed a stick to fend off the teen’s attackers.
"'Please help me. They're going to kill me.' That's the only words he said to me," Lara told PIX11 at the time.
The incident seemed eerily similar to the one involving Guzman-Feliz in June, except in the earlier attack, no one helped Guzman-Feliz, and he died.
Now Guzman-Feliz’s mother, Leandra Feliz, is thanking Lara for his quick actions.
“I came to say thank you to this guy, because he’s a hero,” she said as she embraced Lara Monday night.
The brutal death of Guzman-Feliz sparked outrage then debate over the responsibility bodega workers have for violence that occurs in their stores.
Also on Monday, bodega owners met with the New York Police Department to demand safety measures, including a panic button.
On Monday night's Mary Murphy Files, the meeting between Feliz and Lara was filmed live. Watch below: