The senseless death of Lesandro “Junior” Guzman-Feliz, not only touched the heart of a nation but also the city where he was slain. Police officers will honor the teen with a scholarship in his name, after his life was taken by gang members out for revenge on the wrong person.
Guzman-Feliz was only 15 and had aspirations to one day become a police detective, reports the NY Post. He even took part in the NYPD Explorers program. Although he will never realize his dream, the NYPD will invest in young people like Junior and offer two high school graduates $5,000 each in tuition reimbursement and school supplies once enrolled in an accredited school for the fall semester in his name.
“This scholarship will help more young New Yorkers learn about law enforcement and public service, and ensure that Junior’s legacy will never be forgotten,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio.
“Junior’s life was taken too soon, but it will not be in vain.”
The New York City Police Foundation will fund the scholarships.
“There is no better way to honor a young man whose stated dream was to become one of the greatest detectives in the world than by establishing a memorial scholarship in his honor,” Police Commissioner James O’Neill said.
“The work Explorers do makes our communities stronger, it makes our neighborhoods safer, and it makes our police department better. The people we serve, in every corner of New York City, will surely be the largest beneficiaries in all of this,” he added.
The tragedy has captivated the NYC community after a video surfaced showing the teen being viciously attacked and turned away from receiving help from the bodega employees. The teen was killed outside the store and eight gang members are being tried for his murder.
“Out of this tragedy, future students like Junior will be able to pursue their dreams and, just as importantly, his name will live on,” said Susan Birnbaum, head of the police foundation.