Bronx Teen Murder: Bodega Owner Says He Tried To Help Hide Lesandro 'Junior' Guzman-Feliz

Modesto Cruz, the owner of the bodega in the Bronx where 15-year-old Lesandro "Junior" Guzman-Feliz tried to hide from the gang that was chasing him and later killed him, said Friday that he tried to help hide the teenager.

Cruz told reporters he was beginning to close his store when Guzman-Feliz ran in and jumped over the counter on June 20, according to the New York Post's report of the press conference.

"I remember his face," he said. "He was so scared."

The teenager went into the store and jumped up onto the counter, as seen in video from ABC's Eyewitness News on Friday. While it's hard to tell at first if Cruz was helping or stopping him in the surveillance footage from the bodega, the owner said he did help him. He said he "tried to hold him down" and hide him from the gang members looking for him.

According to Cruz, he and another worker "panicked," adding that they were "only two people" and were "scared" because they didn't have any weapons.

"There was too many young kids," he said. "What they gonna do to us at that moment. They will kill us."

After the gang members pulled Guzman-Feliz out of the bodega, Cruz called 911 to send the police, and the operator took four minutes.

The bodega owner's lawyer, Francisco Serrano, said that his client did what he could to try to help and that when the gang members entered his shop, they said to not "get involved." He went on to call him "a hero" in his eyes because he "did what was humanly possible to save the life of this kid." He wondered if the community wanted "three deaths instead of one" since Cruz isn't a cop and isn't "trained to defend himself."

City Council members want his bodega to be closed, PIX11 reported on Tuesday.

"An owner who stands by idly while a 15-year-old is dragged out of his store and murdered in cold blood with a machete is no longer worthy of doing business in NYC," they wrote to the Department of Consumer Affairs.

New York City Police Department Commissioner James P. O'Neill said that Cruz didn't do anything criminal in the Eyewitness News report from Friday. He added, "People have to be reflective on what their actions were and maybe they could have done a better job. People are responsible for their own actions. It's a 15-year-old kid."

The commissioner also spoke out in defense of the NYPD officers who were on scene while Guzman-Feliz was bleeding out.

"I'm sure they tried their best," he said during a press conference on Friday, according to The New York Post. "Our focus has to be on the people that committed this murder, not on the two cops that stopped and tried to help Lesandro."

During the press conference, Cruz also said that he feels "very bad" and wanted Guzman-Feliz's mother to know that they "feel the pain too."

Bronx Teen Murder: Bodega Owner Says He Tried To Help Hide Lesandro 'Junior' Guzman-Feliz | U.S.