By: Asia Coleman Ross Freeman, Alexis Thurman-Stroud, Jayla Trehane (Sophomores)
Do you know about the slaughter of Lesandro Guzman- Feliz aka “Junior”. If not here’s a little background on that. On June 20, 2018 in the Bronx, 15 year old Junior was followed by 2 cars and pulled out of the Bodega corner store and stabbed to death with several knives and had his throat slit with a huge machete. All 6 of the men were gang related. After the men ran off junior gestured for help from someone to call the police but no one did, so he ran himself to the hospital. Before he could get through the doors he collapsed right in front of the hospital. The crazy part about it is, there were police officers on the scene and they didn’t even inch to help him they just stood there watching.
As far as our knowledge there were 14 men included in the murder on Junior. 7 more men was in custody on June 26, 2018. Kevin Alvarez, 19 Yrs of age, was the one pulling Junior out of the store. Junior was mistaken as a boy who raped one of the gang members sister. This entire thing was mistaken identity. The suspects names are (Jose Muniz 21, Joniki Martinez 24, Jose Tavarez 21, Manuel Rivera 18, Santiago Rodríguez 24, Kevin Alvarez 19). All of this was captured on video. We played the video for various people and asked what they would do if they watched this happen.
Interview #1: Joan Lipschutz, Certified school nurse
Senn Times: So, do you know about the Junior situation?
Lipschutz: Yeah, I saw the video on youtube.
Senn Times: So what would you do if you were in the bystanders shoes?
Lipschutz: what I hope I would do, I mean I would, if I saw him wounded I would have gotten on my phone and called 911 and tried to do whatever I could as a nurse with the knowledge I have. If I saw them attacking him I think I would call 911 but I might do something crazy cause i’ve done this before, like not not in that awful situation with knives but I’ve have gone into like seen something bad happen and kinda like my brain goes stop. I’ll go in and scream or something were I should just run. So I might of screamed but yet I might of been to scared, you know and how that store owner kicked him out and the cops were standing around that’s just unconscionable.
Senn Times: If you were the store owner, would you have let him hide in your store?
Lipschutz: Yes, I’d let him hide in my store. I mean he was only 15 yrs old. He didn’t deserve to die. So yes most definitely I’d let him hide in my store. I’d put him behind the counter and lay some boxes or covers on top of him. But on the other hand, the store owner was probably scared and didn’t know how to react. But I’d let him hide in my store.
Interview #2: Andrew Kwon, 15, West Ridge, Sophomore
Senn Times: Have you heard about Junior getting murdered with a machete?
Kwon: Alright, so I heard Junior the person in New York with the machete. I heard that when I was on Facebook and on the news everybody was talking about it this and that, and I was like yo that’s like crazy you feel. Like dude got stabbed this and that, and I was like bro I feel bad for this guy and then you know I saw like the video it was very graphic and it was very you know disturbing, but like it was kind of weird you know seeming them people do that to a kid you know.
Senn Times: What would you have done if you were in the bystanders?
Kwon: Bro honestly if I were in the bystanders shoes you know honestly I would try to stop it even if made me get hurt because you know I wouldn’t want to see nobody get hurt like that. Because you know how would you feel getting stabbed like a lot of times with a machete you know it’s going to be very painful, so you know I would try to stop it you dig?
Then we moved on to some other students that had some responses about the homicide and here’s what they have to say about it
Interview #3: Yailyn Ayala, 16, Rosemont, Sophomore
Senn Times: Looking at the video what would you have done if you were the bystander?
Ayala: If I was the bystander, I would have hide in the back, called the police, and told them to hurry up and come here quick. And then I would have grabbed anything sharp, dangerous, that is the same thing like a weapon and you know just attack them and defend yourself and help other people and get them out of there cause you know, you don’t just stand there , you don’t just scream, you don’t just panic. Just grabbed anything and whoop them with it.
Senn Times: Do you think that the bystander was scared and that’s why he didn’t wanna call anyone?
Ayala: Yea I think he was scared. I mean everybody gets scared cause its like your in that situation you don’t know what to do . and you don’t know if the person has a gun, a knife or anything, but the best thing to do is just that, if you were the cashier just listen to them and have somebody else, you know, just make eye contact like you know your talking by using eye contact and tell the other person you know to help them out.
Senn Times: So after the accident, and the story went worldwide, do you think that the bystander felt guilty because he didn’t help Junior out?
Ayala: He shouldn’t feel guilty but at the same time he shouldn’t fear. Even if your scared don’t fear. Just do what you gotta do even if, you know, something might happen to you but at least they are going to go to jail for it.
Senn Times: Do you think it should be a crime that he didn’t help Junior?
Ayala: No it should not be a crime. You can’t get in trouble for not helping or saving a life because you know they were gonna attack you and kill you too. But like I said, you should just do what you gotta do and help the person out and you shouldn’t fear and everybody gets scared so.
Senn Times: How do you think Juniors family feels? Do you think they got the justice they deserve? Since all the attackers got locked up. Do you think they got the closure they deserve?
Ayala: I think the family, cause you know how families are, they would have probably said ‘oh yeah you know their in jail’ but I would have wanted to hurt them myself and do much worse than what they did but since their in jail you can’t do nothing about it you know you don’t wanna get yourself in trouble as well.
Interview #4: Antoinette Joseph, 16, Edgewater, Sophomore
Senn Times: Have you heard about the Junior homicide that took place in Bronx, New York?
Senn Times: What would you do if you was a bystander?
Joseph: Tell somebody.
Senn Times: Would you would have helped him?
Senn Times: What would you have done to help him?
Joseph:Call somebody to help or possibly risk my life for him trying to save him.
Senn Times: Ok thank you.
Interview #5:Alexis Rojas, 15, Sophomore, Uptown.
Senn Times: Do you know about the Junior homicide that took place in Bronx, New York?
Senn Times: What would you do if you were a bystander?
Rojas: If I seen what was happening to him and I was on the street . . I think I would get help like call the cops or I would get somebody else to help him because I wouldn’t just watch because that’s somebody’s life getting taken away for no reason. I know I couldn’t do anything but I would still try to help by calling the cops or ask somebody to call the cops anything that could save his life.
Interview #6: Makaylah Reed, 15, Sophomore, West Ridge
Senn Times: Looking at the video, what would you have done if you were the bystander?
Reed: If I was the bystander, I wouldn’t sit there and like do nothing. Cause this is like in a public place and yeah I understand he’s like a dude thats in trouble. Walking inside your place and it’s like he’s obviously in trouble so it’s like you should help him in some type of way even though it might get you involved and like the people who are trying to kill him and stuff. It’s the right thing to do.
Senn Times: Do you think the bystander was scared? So that’s why he didn’t call anyone?
Reed: Yes I think the bystander was scared but even though you are scared, there are some like, some people are willing to call the police even if their scared.