First suspect arrested in Roxborough High School shooting

Roxborough High School
Jack Tomczuk

Authorities said Wednesday that a 21-year-old man has been apprehended and charged with murder in connection with last month’s shooting near Roxborough High School, becoming the first suspect taken into custody in the case.

Yaaseen Bivins will also be charged with four counts of aggravated assault and related offenses, according to the District Attorney’s Office.

Gunmen hopped out of an SUV and opened fire on a group of teenagers Sept. 27 who were walking on Pechin Street following a junior varsity football scrimmage. Nicolas Elizalde, 14, was killed, four others — ranging in age from 14 to 17 — were wounded.

Prosecutors issued an arrest warrant last week for 16-year-old Dayron Burney-Thorn, though he remains at-large. When apprehended, he will face similar charges to Bivins, authorities said.

Yaaseen Bivins in a 2020 mugshot.Philadelphia Police / File

Philadelphia Police Chief Inspector Frank Vanore said Wednesday that investigators are “very, very close” to approving charges against a third suspect. Detectives believe five shooters and a driver were involved in the incident.

The suspects allegedly utilized a white Ford Explorer, which police later discovered in Southwest Philadelphia. Inside that vehicle was a receipt for ammunition with Bivins’ name on it, Vanore said.

Bivins, a convicted felon, is not allowed to possess weapons or ammo, and federal agents took him into custody Oct. 6 for gun-related offenses, officials said.

Vanore said Bivins purchased the bullets, which were allegedly used in the shooting, from a South Philadelphia gun shop; however, he would not identify the specific store.

“I think the people who sold the ammunition to that felon ought to be held accountable, too,” Mayor Jim Kenney told reporters Wednesday.

A judge found Bivins guilty in August of aggravated assault by vehicle and other crimes for a 2020 North Philadelphia crash that left a pregnant woman dead. He was set to be sentenced in that case Wednesday, but the hearing was postponed.

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