Months After Bronx Teen Murdered By Gang, Bodega Employees Save Another Teen From Attack

Months after a 15-year-old boy was murdered by gang members after being pulled out of a bodega in the Bronx, New York, a bodega owner is being hailed a hero for saving another teenager from a similar fate.

On Monday night, a group of teens chased a 16-year-old boy into a bodega in the Bronx, owned by Edward Lara. The teen, whose name has not been released, ran to the back aisle and hid from his attackers, as seen in surveillance footage. Four teenagers found the teen hiding and began to beat him and kick him in the head. As the attack was carried out, other teens stood and watched.

“‘Please help me. They're going to kill me.' That's the only words he said to me," Lara told WPIX the teen said to him.

Lara, unsure if the teens had knives, guns or any other weapons on them, grabbed a stick and with the help of his employees, fought to scare the mob of teens away. Once the teens were gone, Lara called for emergency help and the teen was taken to the hospital, where he was treated for his injuries. The teens repeatedly tried to get back into the bodega, according to News 12, but Lara stood armed with the stick at the door.

During an interview with WPIX, Lara rejected the term “hero” for himself, saying he was just doing the right thing, despite being scared. However, he does think there were heroes present that day—his employees.

“I really appreciate everything he did. It was beautiful,” a customer told WNBC. “He could have saved somebody's life.”

'Junior' Guzman-Feliz
Lesandro Guzman-Feliz was brutally stabbed to death in the Bronx, New York, on June 20. A a bodega owner is being hailed a hero for saving another teenager from a similar fate. New York Police Department

The attack reminded Lara of 15-year-old Lesandro “Junior” Guzman-Feliz, who was fatally stabbed after gang members dragged him out of a Bronx bodega on June 20. The attack happened about three miles away from Monday's incident. Following Guzman-Feliz's murder, New York City Police officers charged 14 alleged members of the Triniatrios gang, ranging in ages from 18 to 29.

Before he was killed, Guzman-Feliz was a member of the NYPD Law Enforcement Explorer program and wanted to become a detective. To honor the teenager, the NYPD set up a scholarship fund in his name.

On Monday, shortly before the attack on the 16-year-old, a man in his 50s was shot by a group of teens as he crossed a street in the Bronx, according to WPIX.

Police arrested a 15-year-old boy for allegedly being connected with the attack at the bodega but officers are still looking for six other people. Both the teen and the older man who was shot are expected to survive.