5 Students Shot, 1 Killed, at Roxborough High School Football Scrimmage

Two gunmen fired at least 70 times as they ambushed the group on the 300 block of Fairway Terrace, behind Roxborough High School, around 4:41 p.m., police said

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Editor's Note (Sept. 28, 2022, 2:41 p.m.): This story is no longer being updated. Click here for details on the $40,000 reward that Philadelphia officials announced on Wednesday as they released surveillance video showing five suspects in the ambush.

A teenage boy was killed and four others were injured in a shooting behind Roxborough High School in the Roxborough neighborhood of Philadelphia Tuesday afternoon, police said.

The victims were Roxborough High School football players who were finishing a scrimmage against two others teams and were walking off the field, according to Philadelphia police.

Two gunmen fired at least 70 times as they ambushed the group on Fairway Terrace near Pechin Street, behind Roxborough High School around 4:41 p.m., police said.

A 14-year-old boy was hit at least once in the chest and rushed to Einstein Medical Center where he died a short time later, police said. Family members and police identified him as Nicolas Elizalde.

The victim was on the Roxborough football team, but Philadelphia School District spokesperson Christina Clark said he attended nearby Saul High School, a magnet school that focuses on agricultural sciences.

Another 14-year-old boy was shot in the leg and was listed in stable condition at a local hospital, according to police. A third student, 17, was struck four times throughout his body, authorities said, and was taken to the hospital in stable condition. Police Wednesday said the gunshots were to his arm and leg.

Philadelphia police said a 15-year-old victim was shot in the leg and another 14-year-old was grazed in the ankle.

Parents and grandparents anxiously waited for their loved ones following the deadly shooting outside Roxborough High School Tuesday afternoon. NBC10’s Brian Sheehan has their pleas for change.

SkyForce10 was overhead as one of the victims was placed into the back of a police car and rushed away from the school parking lot. Blood could be seen nearby.

The scrimmage between Pennsylvania's Roxborough High School, Northeast High School and Boys' Latin Charter School ended around 4:30 p.m., Philadelphia Police First Deputy Commissioner John Stanford said.

A light green Ford Explorer was seen driving off westbound on Fairway Terrace about ten minutes later, police said. No arrests had been made as of Tuesday evening.

Latonya Boyd-Smith rushed to Boys' Latin Charter School after her 14-year-old son, who is on the school's junior varsity team, called her to tell her there had been a shooting. She paced on the sidewalk, tears in her eyes as she anxiously waited to be reunited with her child.

“I just want to hold him because I already lost a child to gun violence and this is unnerving to me. This has to stop," she said.

"While no members of the Boys’ Latin school community were physically hurt, the emotional toll of this tragedy will be long-lasting," Boys' Latin said in a statement. "We mourn the loss of life and the loss of the ability to feel safe and secure in our city. Far too many Boys’ Latin students have been robbed of this basic right. Their teammates, friends, families, teachers, and neighbors have as well. The school urges the city to take action."

Chase Galagher, an 18-year-old senior who goes to another school but was in the area, said he heard the gunshots and "just ran." Roxborough, he said, feels safer than other neighborhoods in the city, but gun violence is creeping into the area and getting closer to where he lives. "It's starting to get a little scary, so hopefully things get better," he said.

At Roxborough High School, Tanya Cousar rushed to pick up her freshman grandson.

"Something needs to be done and it needs to be done like yesterday, because it’s getting very, very dangerous to do even do something like play football. It’s ridiculous. We need some help," she said as the teen stood next to her, holding his football shoulder pads in one hand.

The School District of Philadelphia's Emergency/Crisis Response Team and a school-based team of social workers and counselors will be on-site in all impacted schools "to support students and staff as they process and grieve this tragedy," Superintendent Tony Watlington said.

“I am personally disturbed and angry with this senseless act of violence, and it is unacceptable," he said. “On behalf of all of us in the school district, hearts and prayers out to the families of today."

"There are no word for what transpired earlier tonight," Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney tweeted Tuesday. "Tonight, a family will begin to grapple with the loss of their loved one. My deepest condolences go out to them."

Police said a reunification center for parents and students was located at 6401 Ridge Ave.

Children have far too often been victims of gun violence in Philadelphia in 2022. According to city controller's office data (last updated on Monday), at least 174 children have been shot this year in Philadelphia. That accounts for around 10% of all shooting victims in the city.

Entering Wednesday, at least 401 people had been killed in shootings in Philadelphia in 2022, according to Philadelphia police data. That's 1% down from last year, which wound up having the most killings on record in the city.

Back at Boys' Latin Charter School, Boyd-Smith expressed despair about how frequently gun violence is impacting Philadelphia's kids.

“Man, I had to sit down with my son and educate him on what to do when he hears shots or it’s a gun situation," she said, her voice cracking as she fought back the tears. "That’s something I shouldn’t be teaching my 14-year-old son. He’s playing football, he’s being a kid, he’s playing for his school, he’s doing something that he loves and I gotta teach him that when he’s at a game and something like this happens what he needs to do.”

Eventually, as a SWAT truck stood guard in the distance, Boyd-Smith finally got to see her son as he and his teammates filed out of a school bus. He stepped off and she hugged him tight in a lengthy embrace.

They crossed the street, where they hugged again. Briefly, Boyd-Smith stood back, but only to hold her boy's face. She quickly hugged him tight again.

There are additional resources for people or communities that have endured gun violence in Philadelphia. Further information can be found here.

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