NEW YORK (FOX5NY.COM) - The NYPD is looking into how at least two police officers responded to the fatal stabbing of a teenager in the Bronx last week, Fox 5 has confirmed, but the police commissioner has come to their defense.
Several men attacked Lesandro Guzman-Feliz, 15, at a bodega on June 20. The men jumped him while he was inside the store, dragged him outside, and then stabbed and slashed him, police said.
Bleeding from his neck, Guzman-Feliz stumbled over to St. Barnabas Hospital where he collapsed.
Cellphone footage shows passersby using either napkins or tissues to tend to Guzman-Feliz's bleeding wounds. The video also purportedly shows two officers standing nearby but not helping, the New York Post reported. But what happened either before or after the video was recorded is unclear.
Police Commissioner James O'Neill said the officers called for an ambulance and should not be scapegoated.
"The cops stopped, they were engaged. Bronx Investigations is taking a look at it, but I don't see any wrongdoing," O'Neill said Friday. "It's a chaotic scene. I'm sure they tried their best. There was somebody rendering first aid. Just an absolute tragedy all the way around."
However, City Councilman Richie Torres said the investigation into the officers' actions should not be prejudged.
"If the facts show that the officers did everything within reason, then there is no reason to fault them or, to use the commissioner's words, scapegoat them," Torres said. "But if the facts show that the officers did too little, while a 15-year-old child was bleeding to death, then there should be accountability and those officers should be stripped of their badges."
Authorities have arrested eight suspects in connection with the attack. Police believe the men are members of the Trinitarios gang, prosecutors have said.