Crimes and Courts

Trial Ordered for 4 Charged With Murder for Shooting Outside Roxborough High School

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What to Know

  • A judge has ordered four suspects to stand trial in an ambush shooting outside a Philadelphia high school that killed a 14-year-old and wounded four other teenagers after a football scrimmage last fall.
  • At Tuesday’s preliminary hearing, prosecutors presented evidence they said tied the adult and juvenile suspects to the Sept. 27 shooting outside of Roxborough High School. Two others are being sought.
  • Authorities said five people jumped from a parked SUV and opened fire on teens who were walking away from an athletic field at the high school. Nicholas Elizalde, 14, was killed and several other teens were wounded.

The four young people charged with murder in the ambush shooting outside Philadelphia’s Roxborough High School last year that left 14-year-old Nicolas Elizalde dead were ordered to stand trial.

A preliminary hearing began Tuesday morning for Zyhied Jones, 17; Yaaseen Bivins, 21; Troy Fletcher, 15; and Saleem Miller, 16. All four are charged as adults with murder, aggravated assault and related charges. They have all remained jailed ahead of the hearing, according to court documents.

At Tuesday's preliminary hearing, prosecutors presented evidence they said tied the suspects to the Sept. 27 shooting outside of Roxborough High School. 

A fifth suspect, 16-year-old Dayron Burney-Thorne, remained a fugitive, the Philadelphia District Attorney's Office said.

Family members for both the victims and defendants headed to court for Tuesday's hearing, which lasted into the afternoon.

Léelo en español aquí.

Police said at least six people – five gunmen and a getaway driver – were involved in the Sept. 27, 2022 shooting. The incident claimed the life of Nicolas after the shooters got out of an SUV and began firing at a group of high school football players following a scrimmage outside Roxborough High School.

Police believe Nicolas was merely an innocent bystander caught in the crossfire when the gunmen apparently targeted a specific group as they unleashed a barrage of bullets behind the school. Four other teens were injured in the shooting.

Police said one of the shooters chased a 17-year-old victim down the street, striking him with shots to the leg and arm, and tried to fire as he stood over the victim but the gun either jammed or was out of bullets.

It was later revealed, Philadelphia Sheriff's Deputy Samir Ahmad sold two illegal guns that had been used in the deadly shooting, investigators said.

Besides the Roxborough shooting, Jones and Fletcher are also charged in the murder of 19-year-old Tahmir Jones just one day before, the Philadelphia District Attorney's Office said. Burney-Thorne is also wanted in that deadly shooting.

It wasn't clear if any attorneys commented on their clients' behalf.

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

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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