Summer Violence Explodes Across the Bronx

Bronx Gang Violence Surges

(Photos by David Greene)

By David Greene

NEW YORK- The NYPD has released startling new statistics that show the boroughs homicide rate is more than 92% higher than last year after the first 6 months of the year-- and that was before a 2-week rampage that includes several disturbing cases that have generated national headlines.

From January 1 thru June 24, the NYPD had so far logged 50 homicides, compared with just 26 logged during the same time in 2017.

The new statistics do not yet show a series of incidents including the killing of Lesandro "Junior" Guzman-Feliz, 15, who was dragged out of a bodega and murdered in the Belmont section on June 20. The following day 2 men and a woman were shot to death after an early morning shooting in Castle Hill.

Castle Hill resident Grace Heyaime lives 2 blocks from the shooting and recalled paying her respects at the makeshift memorial, "There were candles in front of the projects and I said a prayer. These people wore bandannas and I don't know who they were. I was the only one dressed who didn't have their pants down and without a bandanna on my head. They looked like really hardened thugs, the ladies and the men. But as soon as I started my prayers and I prayed for them to stop this genocide... they became so humbled.”

Heyaime said she felt so "traumatized" by the airing on Facebook of the surveillance video leading up to Guzman-Feliz' death that she attended a candlelight vigil and prayer service for the young man she did not know and feels the NYPD needs assistance from the Federal government to combat gangs, much like when the U.S. Attorney's Office prosecuted members of infamous gangs like 'Sex, Money and Murder,' which was smashed by the feds in 2000. 

Heyalme asks, "What's going on in the Bronx?”

Police have so far identified 7 of the 8 suspects as Daniel Fernandez, Joniki Martinez, Jose Muniz, Manuel Rivera, Santiago Rodriguez, Jose Taverez. Police would also announce the arrest of Kevin Alvarez and another unidentified young man, all charged with murder, manslaughter and gang assault.

Police were reportedly still looking for two men in the June 21 homicide of Mustafa Tarver, Christopher Alleyne and innocent bystander Arileida Jimenez.

In other recent incidents, three people were stabbed and three others were struck on the head with unknown objects along Daily Avenue on June 17, just days after the NYPD announced 300 administration officers would be hitting the streets as part of its "Summer All Out" program.

Before the crime scene on Daily Avenue was taken down, police were called to East 178 Street, for a 23-year-old female who was stabbed multiple times. Cops charged 21-year-old Tachiana Dancey in that crime.

Other violent incidents reported include an unidentified male reported shot behind Harry S. Truman High School on June 17. A person shot on Cromwell Avenue on June 18. A teen chased down, beaten and stabbed on the Bronx River Parkway at East Gun Hill Road on June 18. This incident has been tied to the same Dominican Republic gang implicated in Guzman-Feliz' death.

A victim was reported shot at University Avenue and West Burnside on June 19. Also June 19, a gunshot victim walked into Lincoln Hospital after being shot along Third Avenue. Hours later a victim was shot and killed along Baker Avenue in the Van Nest section. June 19th ended with another person shot on Willis Avenue and East 136 Street.

Other notable incidents included a false report of an "active shooter" at the University Heights High School on St. Ann's Avenue, a person stabbed on East 183 Street on June 20. Two people reported shot at East 159 Street and Park Avenue on June 22 and an 18 year-old shot dead at Watson and Ward Avenue on June 23.   

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