Eighth arrest made in brutal teen slaughtering
NEW York City police have made an eighth arrest in the fatal stabbing of a Bronx teenager which shocked a nation.
Fifteen-year-old aspiring NYPD detective Lesandro "Junior" Guzman-Feliz was brutally attacked and killed last Wednesday outside a Bronx deli by gang members, in a traumatic case of mistaken identity.
Footage shows the innocent child being dragged by the hood of his shirt outside of the corner store before he was beaten and butchered with a machete.
"He tried to run into the store because he thought he'd be safe. They dragged him from the store like a dog," the victim's older sister Genesis Collado-Feliz, 17, told the New York Post.
The gang behind the attack are known as the Trinitarios, a violent New York-based Dominican-American street gang. And according to a "top leader" of the Trinitarios, the slaughter of Guzman-Feliz was a "mistake".
"I'm sorry," the gang member allegedly said in a two-minute Snapchat recording, according to Derek Grullon, the boyfriend Collado-Feliz, the New York Post reports.
"I know it doesn't mean a lot. It wasn't supposed to be him."
The tragic case of mistaken identity reportedly happened because the gang thought Guzman-Feliz was the person responsible for leaking a sex tape of one of the gang members' relatives, two high-ranking police sources told the New York Post.
The eighth person arrested has been identified as Elvin Garcia and he has been charged with murder, manslaughter and criminal possession of a weapon, police said.
"The brutal nature of this crime, we will leave literally no stone unturned until we make sure that we get justice and we make sure that everyone involved in this incident are brought to justice," NYPD Chief of Detectives Dermot Shea said in announcing the latest arrest, the New York Post reports.
Garcia's arrest comes after a New Jersey judge ordered the extradition of six other suspects captured over the weekend. Danel Fernandez, Joniki Martinez, Jose Muniz, Jose Taverez, Manuel Rivera and Santiago Rodriguez will be transported to New York to face charges of homicide, manslaughter and assault. They are expected to appear in court this week.
A seventh suspect, Kevin Alvarez, was arrested in the Bronx and faces the same charges. He appeared in a New York court on Monday evening and entered a plea of not guilty.
New York City Councilman Ritchie Torres is calling on District Attorney Darcel Clark to lock the assailants up and throw away the keys.
"Gang members who drag a young teen out of a bodega and then hack him to death repeatedly with knives and a machete deserve to rot in prison for the rest of their lives," he wrote in a letter, obtained by the New York Post.
The murder has drawn widespread attention. The hashtag #JusticeForJunior has gone viral and a GoFundMe page set up for the teen's family has already received more than $280,000 in donations.
This article originally appeared on the New York Post and is published here with permission.