BROOKLYN -- It's what Junior Guzman-Feliz would have wanted -- to be in Brooklyn Borough Hall Wednesday night -- surrounded by his fellow members of the NYPD Explorers program standing with pride.
It’s been almost six months since Junior was brutally murdered, dragged from inside a bodega in his native Bronx, and stabbed to death by a group of suspected gang members, in a case of mistaken identity.
“All of you, for the support that you’re doing in honoring my son," said Junior’s mother, Leandra Feliz.
Both of Junior’s parents were in the audience – accepting a citation – in his honor.
“That was the dream for my son – to be a police, and he decide with his cousin, to go and sign the paper to be an Explorer," Feliz said. "Because that’s what was a dream. I feel proud for my son."
Graduating Explorer member Anthony Vargas, who’s been in the program since 2011, says Junior is never far from his mind as he gets ready to graduate, and head back to school – and the Marine Corps.
“We talk about him, and we see that selflessness," Vargas said. "We see these explorers, with that selfless care – that selfless devotion to the community. we talk about it in everything we do, and the explorer program, is remembering Junior."
Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams told the crowd, “you are a beacon of light for us. As a mother and father of a beautiful son that we lost, we will always remember what he has contributed to this city. He wanted to be a detective one day. He wanted to investigate crimes and find solutions. He wanted to be part of the finest police department on the globe.”