Nineteen-year-old Kevin Alvarez didn’t say a word on Friday as he was indicted on a second-degree murder charge for the gruesome machete killing of 15-year-old Lesandro “Junior” Guzman-Feliz. Alvarez’s mother was also silent as she sat in the back of the courtroom, doing nothing to draw attention to herself, according to the New York Daily News. The “Bronx Killer” will return to the courtroom on July 16 for his trial.
A law enforcement officer spoke to Pix11 and explained what led up to the tragic events of June 20. Junior had left his mother’s apartment to go to the bodega to pay them $5 he owed for something he had previously picked up from the deli. On the way, he saw three cars on the street that were “loaded with nine or ten people” and took off running. They chased him because they assumed he was a rival Trinitario member. Junior was not affiliated with any gang.
In a surveillance video of the crime, Junior is seen jumping over the counter of the bodega to hide from the men who were chasing him. The owner of the bodega was fine with providing him protection until the men in the cars started making false claims that Junior had done things like rob or kill their family members. He was then dragged out of the bodega and slashed with machetes until he died.
The man who pulled Junior out of the bodega was 19-year-old Kevin Alvarez. The father of a 3-year-old boy claims that he is not a member of the gang that killed Junior, that he had been friends with them for just a few days and that he was driving them to a party. He did know they were Trinitarios and that they carried machetes. It had been a good day for Alvarez. He had just landed a good job in construction.
“I had just passed the interview before that night when everything happened,” he said. “It had benefits, 401K, paid holidays.”
Alvarez says that he didn’t know the other men were going to attack the aspiring police officer with their machetes when he pulled him out of the bodega. He even told him that they were just going to fight. Junior can be seen in the video clinging to the door jamb, terrified to leave the bodega. Alvarez says that by the time he realized what was happening, it was too late. He says he didn’t see the machetes until he got Junior out of the store.
“I backed up and put my arms up. I yelled at them to stop,” he says.
Alvarez’s attorney tried to make his client more human by pointing out that he had no criminal record, no history of violence, and was not a member of the Trinitarios gang.
“He lived with his mother and with his brother, supporting them, gainfully employed. He was in the U.S. military — he received a medical honorable discharge prior to this incident.”
Junior Guzman-Feliz’s mother was present at Friday’s hearing. She showed no emotion but told reporters that she was nervous.
“Justice is coming. I will be here… every day,” she said.
In addition to Kevin Alvarez’s mother, two friends were also present at his indictment. One of them told reporters that others didn’t come because they feared for their lives. As soon as the hearing was over, Alvarez’s mother ran from the courtroom and got into a car.