Roxborough community steps in for victims, families impacted by shooting near high school

Support is pouring in for his family and others whose trauma is still so raw and palpable.

Alyana Gomez Image
Saturday, October 1, 2022
Community comes out in support of Roxborough students
Members of the community stood outside Roxborough High School on Friday morning with messages of support days after five teens were shot.

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- There were no Friday night lights, just an empty football field, at Roxborough High School in Philadelphia.

Outside the fences, a small crowd of people visited the growing memorial where just three days ago five teenagers were shot, one of them killed.

"Over the last couple of days the community has been in turmoil. There's a lot of trauma, a lot of angst, there's a lot of sorrow," said Robert Ashford, Executive Director of Unity Recovery.

Nick Elizalde, 14, was fatally wounded in that shooting. He was a freshman at Saul High School but played football for Roxborough.

The vigil honored a 14-year-old killed after five gunmen ambushed a group leaving a football scrimmage Tuesday afternoon.

Support is pouring in for his family and others whose trauma is still so raw and palpable.

"We went out to extend that love, to extend that sympathy, but it was a very sad day because a lovely young man lost his life for no reason. Everyone had a heavy heart," said Melany Nelson, the director of the CARES unit within the district attorney's office in Philadelphia.

Nelson has been working with the families impacted by Tuesday's senseless shooting, providing financial assistance and therapy.

She says the need this year is greater than ever. So far this year, 179 children under 18 have been shot in Philadelphia. Twenty-four of them have died.

"They have seen so many of their friends lose their lives that this has somehow become the norm. So that happens as well, which is alarming for our young people," said Nelson.

Investigators released disturbing video showing one of the five wanted gunmen, relentlessly firing at those teen boys.

Police say the suspects waited for six minutes before jumping out of the SUV and firing more than 60 shots. The Ford Explorer was recovered Wednesday night in Southwest Philadelphia.

On Thursday night, family and friends came together for a vigil in Gorgas Park.

There has been no word yet on a motive or any arrests in this investigation.