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#JusticeforJunior: Shocking murder of Bronx teen is a big wake up call

If you’re on social media at all, you’ve probably heard of or seen the support for Junior, a 15-year-old boy from the Bronx who was stabbed to death by a group of five gang members outside a bodega on 183rd street on Wednesday night.

Lesandro Guzman-Feliz told his mother he was going to be right back, and that he was stepping outside to hand his friend $5. He never made it back home, but instead met the face of his killers just minutes before making his way two blocks over to St. Barnabas Hospital, where he took his final breath before collapsing out front.

Gruesome images and video surveillance of the scene has caught wind all over the internet. Celebrities like Cardi B have been in observance of the tragic events and used their own platforms to spread awareness of the injustice.

Reports have surfaced now that the gang has purportedly apologized to the family,  claiming that they’d “gotten the wrong guy.”

Social media has also unearthed the video that might have started it all; a young woman and a young man having sex, with a third guy filming it. The girl may have been related to one of the members that went after Junior, who resembled the cameraman which caused his untimely death.

While the surveillance is sickening on its own, a much larger issue can be seen caught on camera, from the bodega to the hospital where Junior fled.

In the store, before he was taken outside and slashed and stabbed, were grown-ass men who watched as the young boy was dragged by his hair, “like a dog,” according to his sister, Genesis Collado-Feliz, and did nothing to stop the events from unfolding.

In the article first reported by the New York Post, the witness said,

“He tried to run into the store because he thought he’d be safe. They dragged him from the store like a dog. He is not a criminal.”

But even more disturbing is the reaction of the community at hand. Those in the bodega were not the only witnesses of the crime, nor were they the only ones who did nothing.

The entire block seemed rampant and alive as they watched the young boy die before their eyes. A couple walking hand in hand, ignoring the scene, passerbys yelling “run to the hospital,” after the killers had fled, woman filming from her balcony and shaking her head rather than calling the police, and the NYPD who stood and did nothing, watching him bleed out outside the St. Barnabas Hospital.

Chief Terence Monahan of the department said that the murder was one of the most “brutal crimes” he’d seen in 36 years of his career.

Last week’s death of XXXTentacion also unveiled the brutal reality of the chase for social media clout. XXX’s slumped, lifeless body was put on display for the world to see in a matter of minutes after his death.

As witnesses awaited the cops, one man could be seen weakly checking for XXX’s pulse, while the others stood above him with their phone camera’s out, contributing nothing to the preceding events.

This misfortune really sheds light on how society seems to prioritize the principals that are most important to us. Have we really become so consumed in technology, so blinded by our world’s computerization, that we whip out our phones to take a video, rather than calling for help?

What’s going on here? While no one is expected to throw their body in front of a machete for a stranger, could it be argued that this adversity could have been prevented, had those at the scene worked together to drive away the murderers? Called the police earlier on? Covered his wounds and taken him to the hospital, rather than watch him use what adrenaline was left in his body to run two blocks down?

While nothing can erase horrific and unjustified nature of this story, a lesson can surely be extracted — if you see someone in need of help, pick up the phone and call for some damn help.

For those looking to help Junior’s family during this time of sorrow, a GoFundMe page is up and currently accepting donations, a small token to help quell the suffering that his family is no doubt enduring.