NEW YORK — Seven people are in custody after a savage machete attack left a 15-year-old New York City boy dead in what was an apparent case of mistaken identity.
Kevin Alvarez, 19, has been charged with second-degree murder, manslaughter, gang assault and assault in the brutal death of Lesandro “Junior” Guzman-Feliz.
He pleaded not guilty Monday evening. Six other suspects were being held in Paterson, New Jersey, on Monday, awaiting an extradition hearing.
WPIX first reported Sunday that multiple people were taken out of an alleged gang stronghold.
They are suspected of being members of the Trinitarios gang.
Prosecutor Camelia Valdes announced the extradition hearings of the following suspects:
- Jose Muniz, 21, of Paterson, New Jersey
- Jose Taverez, 21, of New York
- Manuel Rivera, 18 of New York
- Danel Fernandez 21 of New York
- Joniki Martinez 24, of Freeport, New York
- Santiago Rodriguez 24, of New York
Their extradition to New York could happen as early as Tuesday.
Paterson police first received a tip at about 1:45 p.m. Sunday.
They sent a large contingent of cops and found four people tied to the attack of Guzman-Feliz who were holed up at a house, a source told WPIX.
When authorities went to the house, one suspect managed to escape but was apprehended minutes later, according to WPIX.
Another suspect was taken into custody in the Dominican Republic, a source said.
The leader of the Trinitarios gang apologized on Facebook, saying the vicious murder resulted from a case of mistaken identity.
Guzman-Feliz was dragged out of a bodega and hacked to death with a machete on Wednesday night following a dispute with a group of males, officials said.
A source told WPIX that one gang member was angry because a relative was featured in a sex video and thought Guzman-Feliz was in the video.
Guzman-Feliz's death sent shockwaves through the community, and on social media, as the hashtag #JusticeforJunior began trending. Rapper Cardi B, a Bronx native, was among those paying tribute, posting on Instagram about getting justice for the teen.
A GoFundMe page has been set up by Guzman-Feliz's family to help with funeral costs and other financial difficulties.