PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) — While police continue to comb through evidence looking for the five shooters and getaway driver wanted in the ambush shooting near Roxborough High School, friends and family are expected to gather tonight to remember the 14-year-old who was killed.
“It’s in our neighborhood and I’m 100% a neighborhood person and anything that happens kind of happens to all of us,” neighbor Drew Pownall said.
Pownall’s sentiment echoes through Roxborough as people wait for any break in the case.
There was one Wednesday night when police recovered what they believe to be the Ford Explorer used in the ambush on Tuesday.
The vehicle was found in a parking lot along the 6100 block of Passyunk Avenue in Southwest Philadelphia. It was towed in the overnight hours.
Action News has learned the SUV used by the shooting suspects had been stolen prior to the crime.
A source also confirmed that when police recovered the vehicle, at least one shell casing was also recovered.
The shooting happened around 4:30 p.m. Tuesday 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.
Fourteen-year-old Nicholas Elizalde of Havertown, Delaware County was killed after being shot in the chest in what police are calling a targeted attack on at least one of the teens.
Police said the suspects waited for six minutes before jumping out of the SUV and firing more than 60 shots.
“As the victims are walking by on the opposite side of the road on the way to locker room, five individuals exit the SUV and immediately open fire,” said Capt. Jason Smith.
Police said Elizalde was taken to Einstein Medical Center where he died from his injuries.
Three victims were taken to local hospitals in stable condition: a 17-year-old male shot in the right arm and leg; a 14-year-old male shot in the left thigh; and a 15-year-old male struck in the left leg.
A fifth victim, a 14-year-old male, suffered a graze wound to the right ankle and was treated at the scene.
Authorities said four of the shooters returned to the vehicle, but the fifth continued to pursue one of the victims down Pechin Street.
The 17-year-old victim was ultimately shot, and while lying on the sidewalk, the shooter continued pulling the trigger, but the gun didn’t fire.
“The only thing that stopped this individual from firing is that he apparently had run out of bullets in his slide and it locked,” said Smith.
Sources confirm to Action News the 15-year-old victim was shot last year while attempting to carjack a ride share driver on North 7th Street. The driver, who had a permit to carry, shot the teenager and prevented the carjacking.
Police said four of the five victims played football for Roxborough High School.
Police believe the 17-year-old was not a student at Roxborough and was not a member of the football team.
Parents and neighbors are calling for more security.
“I believe if you have one officer there it would stop any of that because they’re not going to fire when they’re going to be fired at,” Pownall said.
A $45,000 reward is now being offered for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the persons responsible.
Anyone with information is asked to call police at 215-686-TIPS.
The community of Roxborough is holding a vigil Thursday at Gorgas Park at 6300 Ridge Avenue at 7 p.m.
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