Teen murdered outside Roxborough High School one year ago honored with Day of Peace

Wednesday marked one year since 14-year-old Nicolas Elizalde was shot after a football scrimmage.

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Wednesday, September 27, 2023
Teen murdered outside Roxborough High School honored with Day of Peace
Teen murdered outside Roxborough High School honored with Day of Peace

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- Classmates, teachers and staff honored the memory of a Philadelphia high school student who was killed in an ambush shooting after a football scrimmage.

They held a Day of Peace on Wednesday, marking one year since 14-year-old Nicolas Elizalde was shot outside Roxborough High School.

The school has beefed up security in the last year, including adding cameras both in and outside of the building. Those extra eyes extend as far down to the football field, where last year's shooting took place.

Principal Kristin Smalley said while safety is key, more needs to be done.

"Kids just can't be kids anymore. What it means to be a child now is not what it meant for me to be a child," Smalley said. "The violence in our city needs to change."

Principal Kristin Smalley says since Nicolas' murder, another one of their students was killed in May, and an alum was killed over the summer.

Mother of teen slain outside Roxborough High School honors his memory through fundraising efforts

That's why students held a moment of silence and wore white pins to symbolize peace.

Nicolas was killed during a mass shooting while he was leaving a football scrimmage. Authorities say he and four other students were ambushed by five shooters but was not believed to be the intended target.

Football Coach Mark Skinner led Nicolas' former teammates to the commemorative plaque, where they planted what they call "peace bulbs" to symbolize life beyond themselves.

"I'm glad we can remember him, and we can have his legacy and his life as part of this history here for years and years - and forever, hopefully," Skinner said.

Dayron Burney Thorne, who police say pulled the trigger, remains on the run.

The school also continued Nicolas' memory by changing the school mascot to the Roxborough Wolves.

Coach Skinner says the wolf was his spirit animal.

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