New York, NY – A 15-year-old girl, who appeared in a sex video that likely precipitated the brutal murder of an innocent teenage boy, has been placed under police protection due to an onslaught of social media threats.
Guzman-Feliz, a member of the New York Police Department’s (NYPD) Explorers program who dreamed of becoming a police detective when he grew up, was dragged out of a bodega by five members of the Trinitarios, a violent Dominican street gang, and hacked to death on a Bronx street corner.
“I know it doesn’t mean a lot. It wasn’t supposed to be him,” a Trinitarios “top leader” wrote in a message to the slain teen’s family in the wake of the attack, according to the New York Post.
Police think Guzman-Feliz’ murder may have been a case of mistaken identity, two high-ranking NYPD sources told the New York Post.
Investigators believe that members of the Trinitarios may have attacked the teen as retaliation for a raunchy porn video, which showed a naked teenage girl who was possibly related to one of the gang members.
In the video, which was posted on social media, one male rapped as another – who bore a striking resemblance to Guzman-Feliz – had sex with a girl whose face was covered with a shirt, the New York Daily News reported.
After Guzman-Feliz’s brutal murder, the 15-year-old girl in the video began receiving threatening messages on Instagram, Facebook, and Snapchat, a high-ranking NYPD source told the New York Post on Monday.
Many of the messages blamed the teenage girl, who is also a member of the police department’s Explorers program, for causing Guzman-Feliz’s death, the source said.
Some of the messages referred to the girl as a “whore.”
The teen was subsequently placed under NYPD protection while the investigation continued.
In the wake of Guzman Feliz’s gruesome death, police received a “torrent of tips” from citizens who wanted to help identify the teen’s killers, New York Chief of Detectives Dermot Shea told The New York Times on Sunday.
“There’s just a tremendous outpouring and I think that people are disgusted by what they saw,” Chief Shea explained.
Within hours, police announced the arrest of 19-year-old Kevin Alvarez, who has since been charged with manslaughter, second-degree murder, gang assault, and assault, The New York Times reported.
Meanwhile, in Paterson, New Jersey, police received a tip that other suspects connected to the attack were holed up at a Trinitarios-affiliated residence, WPIX reported.
A hoard of police descended on the home just before 2 p.m. on Sunday, according to the New York Post.
When one of the officers looked through a second-floor window of the residence, he spotted a suspect who matched the description of 21-year-old Jose Tavarez, police said.
Tavarez noticed the officer and jumped out of a window, but police apprehended him shortly thereafter.
During the commotion, other officers burst into the home and took five additional suspects into custody.
On Monday, Passaic County Prosecutor Camelia Valdes and Paterson Police Chief Troy Oswald announced the arrests of Tavarez and the other men, who have been identified as 21-year-old Jose Muniz, 18-year-old Manuel Rivera, 21-year-old Danel Fernandez, 24-year-old Joniki Martinez, and 24-year-old Santiago Rodriguez, RLS Media Solutions reported.
Extradition hearings for all six suspects located in New Jersey were scheduled for Tuesday, police said.
Several media outlets reported that police in the Dominican Republic had made an arrest in connection with the case; however, that information was not able to be confirmed by authorities.