Police ID suspect in deadly Roxborough High shooting

Roxborough High School
Dayron Burney-Thorne
Philadelphia Police

A 16-year-old boy is wanted in connection with last week’s shooting outside Roxborough High School that left a 14-year-old football player dead and four other teenagers injured.

Dayron Burney-Thorne, when apprehended, will be charged with murder, four counts of attempted murder, firearm violations, obstruction of justice and other crimes, Philadelphia police said Tuesday.

Five gunmen jumped out of an SUV and fired more than 60 shots at a group of students on the 4700 block of Pechin Street — between the field and the school — following a junior varsity football scrimmage on the afternoon of Sept. 27.

Nicolas Elizalde, a W.B. Saul High School student who played for Roxborough’s team, was struck in the chest and died soon after the shooting.

Four others, ranging in age from 14 to 17, were struck by gunfire and treated for nonlife-threatening injuries.

Chalk evidence markings are seen Wednesday, Sept. 29, on Penchin Street near Roxborough High School.Jack Tomczuk

Investigators described Dayron as a 6-foot 3-inch boy weighing around 215 pounds. Anyone with information about his whereabouts is asked to contact the PPD’s Homicide Unit at 215-686-3334/3335; call or text 215-686-8477; or go to www.phillypolice.com/forms/submit-a-tip.

A $45,000 reward is being offered for tips leading to an arrest and conviction in the shooting.

“While I am pleased that a suspect has been identified, there is still much more work to do,” Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw tweeted Tuesday.

“To those responsible: we know who you are, we will find you, and we will take you into custody. See you soon,” she added.

Assistant District Attorney Joanne Pescatore told reporters Monday that law enforcement had executed “many” search warrants related to the case and were able to recover fingerprints and other evidence from a vehicle reportedly found last week in Southwest Philadelphia.

Nicolas Elizalde’s funeral services are scheduled for Wednesday at the Philadelphia Masjid. Homicide investigators said last week that they don’t believe he was the target of the attack.

School District of Philadelphia Superintendent Tony Watlington Sr. said Tuesday that he has heard from many students who are afraid because of escalating levels of gun violence.

“Before this horrific event occurred, our students were doing just what any normal teenage student would do, enjoying time with their friends and participating in a wholesome after-school athletic activity,” Watlington said, referring to the Roxborough shooting.

“As a parent myself of three young men, I will never forget the hurt that I saw on the families’ faces,” he continued.

Watlington added that safety is the district’s No. 1 priority.

This is a developing story. Check metrophiladelphia.com for updates. 

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