Bodega owner: New footage shows he tried to help teen

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BELMONT -

The owner of the bodega where Junior Guzman lost his life last week said Friday that he is not responsible for the death of the Bronx teen, and says newly released footage proves his case.

Since Guzman's death, some in the community and throughout the borough have questioned whether the bodega owner could have done more to save his life.

MORE: Suspect in murder of Bronx teen indicted, pleads not guilty

The new footage released from the Cruz and Chiky grocery store shows Junior moments before his death – jumping over the bodega counter. Then, there is a moment where the suspects forced their way behind the counter.

That's where the store owner Modesto Cruz says he was trying to block Junior from the men. Cruz says the video shows he tried to help Guzman hide under the counter before he was dragged out and stabbed by the group of men.

MORE COVERAGE: Justice for Junior

At a news conference Friday with his lawyer Francisco Serrano, Cruz said there wasn't anything more he could have done. Cruz says he feared for his life when the group entered his store.

"We are part of the community we have been there for years, and it is hard when one of us is in this situation like this and the way they take his life is horrible," Cruz said.

Serrano told News 12 that Cruz is still getting death threats. He said he hopes the newly released footage allow the community to see that he tried to help.

News 12 showed some Belmont residents the video and they say Cruz still could have done more.

"Obviously he knew because he was pushing him down he was in danger and him and the other three guys in the store should have stepped up and pushed these other guys out of the store, close the door and called 911," said Anthony Ramos, of Belmont.

As the community awaits justice, a mural to memorialize Junior is going up just a block away from Cruz and Chiky.

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