NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – A special prayer service was held in the Bronx on Sunday to honor Lesandro “Junior” Guzman-Feliz.
The event kicked off at 6 p.m. at Our Lady of Mount Carmel church in Belmont. Dozens prayed for peace and an end to a recent rash of gang-related violence in the neighborhood.
The service came a day after young men and women from the NYPD Explorers Program visited a memorial dedicated to the 15-year-old #JusticeForJunior teen.
Guzman-Feliz was a member of the explorers, a program for young people interested in a career in law enforcement. His father said seeing all of the support for his son certainly helps ease the heartbreak, knowing his boy won’t soon be forgotten.
“I’m feeling good because I see all these people here to support me and I appreciate everybody to be here,” Lesandro Guzman told CBS2. “I want justice for him, that’s why everybody’s here because they want justice for Junior.”
The teen died on June 20 after being stabbed outside a bodega in the Belmont section, where the sidewalk is now covered by candles and flowers. Many of the people gathered at the growing memorial in front of the deli marched a block away to the corner where Junior died.
Surveillance video shows Guzman-Feliz being dragged from a bodega in the Belmont section of the Bronx. Investigators believe he was targeted in a case of mistaken identity.
“This could’ve been our little brothers, our little sisters,” family friend Jonathan Eady said. “This could’ve been any of our family members so it basically, we all just coming out to show love and affection to his friends.”
A mural was also unveiled Sunday in front of the location where Junior succumbed to his injuries.
Last week, eight alleged members of the Trinitarios street gang were charged with second-degree murder, manslaughter and gang assault in connection to the slaying. Seven of the suspects were due back in court on Monday.