Alleged gang leader's order led to innocent NYC teen's stabbing death, police say

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Candace McCowan has more on the latest arrests in the deadly Bronx attack that killed Lesandro Guzman-Feliz, affectionately known as Junior.

An order by the alleged leader of a Trinitarios sect to hunt rival members of his own gang resulted in the fatal stabbing of a 15-year-old boy in New York City, investigators now believe.

This theory was solidified when 29-year-old Diego Suero of the Bronx, was arrested Tuesday in the deadly machete stabbing of Lesandro Guzman-Feliz, affectionately known as Junior.

Suero, charged with murder, manslaughter, gang assault, conspiracy, and criminal possession of a weapon, is one of 10 arrested in connection to Guzman-Feliz's death.

Another suspect, 26-year-old Gabriel Ramirez, was also arrested Tuesday, and police believe Ramirez drove the suspected getaway car. Both men are expected to be arraigned Wednesday.

Investigators said before the June 20 attack, Trinitarios gang members met at Suero's Bronx home. Suero, who is believed to be the leader of a sect called Sure, allegedly directed them to hurt members of a rival sect called Sunset.
Police said the members got into cars and went hunting for Sunset members.

One of the groups found Junior, who they mistakenly believed was a member of Trinitarios' Sunset sect, and that set off the series of events that led to his death, authorities said.

Investigators stressed that Junior was not a member of either sect. Suero was also not present at the time of the killing, and he is not believed to have specifically directed Junior be targeted.

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Josh Einiger reports on the latest arrests in the murder of a Bronx teen.



Seven of the other eight suspects appeared in court Monday. Here are the identities of each suspect and the charges they are facing:
--Kevin Alvarez, 19: Second-degree murder, manslaughter, gang assault and assault

--Jose Muniz, 21, of Paterson: First- and second-degree murder, manslaughter, gang assault and assault with intent to cause serious injury with a weapon
--Jose Taverez, 21, of the Bronx: Second-degree murder, manslaughter, gang assault and assault with intent to cause serious injury with a weapon
--Manuel Rivera, 18, of the Bronx: Second-degree murder, manslaughter, gang assault and assault with intent to cause serious injury with a weapon, and criminal possession of a weapon
--Daniel Fernandez, 21, of the Bronx: Second-degree murder, manslaughter, gang assault and assault with intent to cause serious injury with a weapon
--Jonaiki Martinez-Estrella, 24, of Freeport: First- and second-degree murder, manslaughter, gang assault and assault with intent to cause serious injury with a weapon
--Antonio Santiago-Hernandez, 24, of the Bronx: First- and second-degree murder, manslaughter, gang assault and assault with intent to cause serious injury with a weapon
--Elvin Garcia, 23: First- and second-degree murder, manslaughter and criminal possession of weapon

Sources tell Eyewitness News that three of the eight men already charged in the murder have been placed in isolation at Rikers Island to protect them from the other inmates.

Authorities identified Martinez-Estrella, who has a prior arrest for robbing and beating a 14-year-old with a golf club in 2016, as the one who sliced the victim's neck.
"This investigation is not over," NYPD Chief of Detectives Dermot Shea said. "The brutal nature of this crime, we will leave literally no stone unturned."

Authorities say the men are all members of the Trinitarios gang, which is also believed to be involved in the stabbing of a 14-year-old on the Bronx River Parkway last month.

The NYPD is now cracking down on that gang.

"Pick up a gun, pick up a machete, rob an elderly victim walking home from the train is a one-way ticket to prison," Shea said.

The NYPD said they added extra staff to the CrimeStoppers tip line because they received a "torrent of tips" related to the case. The public is urged to continue to provide information, and anyone with information should call 1800-577-TIPS.
Related Topics:
murderteen killedjustice for juniorstabbinggang violenceu.s. & worldNew York
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