4 suspects in deadly shooting near Roxborough High School held for trial

14-year-old Nicolas Elizalde of Havertown, Pa. was killed in the Sept. 27 ambush.

Wednesday, January 11, 2023
4 suspects in deadly shooting near Roxborough High held for trial
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Four suspects in the deadly shooting near Roxborough High School appeared in court on Tuesday.

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- The case against four suspects arrested for the mass shooting outside Roxborough High School last fall will go to trial.

Philadelphia police say the deadly Sept. 27 ambush outside of Roxborough High that killed 14-year-old Nicolas Elizalde was done at the hands of six young men.

Of those, 21-year-old Yaaseen Bivins, 16-year-old Saleem Miller, 15-year-old Troy Fletcher and 17-year-old Zyhied Jones are under arrest and were in court.

A fifth suspect, 16-year-old Dayron Burney-Thorn, remains at large. An unnamed sixth suspect also remains at large.

Police believe it was Burney-Thorn and Bivins who bought the ammunition used that day.

In court investigators took the stand, going over cell phone records, ballistics evidence, surveillance video and more linking the suspects to the shooting that also left four other teens wounded.

Tom Kline, who is representing the family of Nicolas Elizalde, says he's not sure why the preliminary hearing wasn't waived.

"This preliminary hearing is unusual in the sense that there was much more evidence than his customarily presented. There was a mountain of evidence in this preliminary hearing," he said.

As surveillance video of the shooting was played in court, some of the victims' family members started becoming emotional and left the courtroom.

A short time later, at least one of those families got into a screaming match with the family of one suspect out in the hallway, but sheriff's deputies were quickly able to separate the two sides.

Kline says he's optimistic justice will be served in this case.

"There was a young man whose promise was taken away from not only his family, not only his mother, but from our world. He was going to do great things, and we now are in sorrow," he said.

Meanwhile, Jones and Fletcher are also being accused for a separate murder that occurred in North Philadelphia the day before the Roxborough shooting.

The Roxborough shooting happened around 4:30 p.m. on the 4700 block of Pechin Street just as a junior varsity football scrimmage ended between three schools: Roxborough High School, Northeast High School and Boys Latin Charter School.

Elizalde, of Havertown, Pa., was a freshman at Saul High School but played football for Roxborough.

Nicolas Elizalde

The arrest affidavit shows detectives assisted by the ATF Task Force were able to link the Chevy Impala used in the shooting to the gunmen and a Ford Explorer too.

DNA found in both vehicles helped with arrests, including a cigarette butt connected to Jones.

Video released by Philadelphia police, specifically from the Sunoco gas station in the 4100 block of Ridge Avenue, resulted in two important anonymous tips that led to Troy Fletcher's arrest.

The arrest affidavit shows a web of connections between the four to other serious crimes in the city.

Of the multiple guns fired outside Roxborough High School, police wrote in the affidavit, "... three of which correlated with other events at the time this affidavit was authored."

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