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October 18, 2022

U.S. Marshals offer $5,000 reward for teen wanted in Roxborough High School shooting

Philly police issued an arrest warrant for Dayron Burney-Thorne on Oct. 4. He is among three suspects still being sought in connection to the death of Nicolas Elizalde, a Saul High School freshman

Investigations Shootings
Burney-Thorne Roxborough Shooting Jon Tuleya/PhillyVoice

A $5,000 reward for the arrest of Dayron Burney-Thorne, who is wanted in connection to the deadly Roxborough High School shooting, is being offered by the U.S. Marshals. Philadelphia police issued an arrest warrant on Oct. 6, but the 16-year-old remains at large.

The U.S. Marshals are offering a $5,000 reward for information that leads to the arrest of 16-year-old Dayron Burney-Thorne, who is wanted in connection to the deadly Roxborough High School shooting.

Burney-Thorne allegedly was among a group that opened fire outside of the school's football field on Sept. 27. The shooting left 14-year-old Nicolas Elizalde dead and injured four other teenagers. 

A warrant for Burney-Thorne's arrest was issued Oct. 4., but he has remained at large. 

The reward being offered by the U.S. Marshals and the PA Crime Stoppers is in addition to $45,000 being offered by Philadelphia police for information that leads to arrests and convictions of several suspects.

Investigators believe there were five shooters and a getaway driver involved in the incident. Three suspects – Yaaseen Bivins, 21, Zyhied Jones, 17, and Troy Fletcher, 15 – are in custody and facing murder and related charges. 

Burney-Thorne, who is wanted for murder, should be considered armed and dangerous, the U.S. Marshals said. He is described as 6-foot-3, 215 pounds with black hair and brown eyes. His last known address was the 2900 block of Bambrey Street.

Bivins was arrested Oct. 6 by federal officials on gun charges after police found a receipt for gun ammunition in the Ford Explorer linked to the shooting. As a felon, Bivins cannot legally purchase bullets. Investigators later determined the bullets he purchased had been used in the shooting and charged him with murder.  

Jones was arrested last week. 

The other two suspects have not been publicly identified. But in a briefing following the shooting, Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw urged those involved to surrender, saying "we know who you are, we will find you, and we will take you into custody." 

Fletcher surrendered Monday after a warrant was put out for his arrest last week. 

The shooting occurred on the 4700 block of Pechin Street, which runs between the back of the high school and the football field. Five of the suspects exited a stolen Ford Explorer and sprayed at least 60 bullets on a group of football players leaving a scrimmage. 

Elizalde, a freshman at Walter B. Saul High School who was playing on Roxborough's junior varsity team, suffered a fatal gunshot wound to his chest. Investigators do not believe he was the intended target of the shooters. He previously had attended school in Havertown and was still living in Delaware County. 

The four other teenagers struck in the shooting suffered non-life-threatening injuries. Three of them were Roxborough football players. The fourth – a 17-year-old boy – is believed to have been the target, investigators said. The boy is not a Roxborough student. 

Police have not revealed any known motives for the attack or detailed the alleged roles and actions of the suspects. 

Four of the shooters fled the scene in the SUV with the getaway driver, investigators said. The fifth continued pursuing the intended target – a 17-year-old boy – until his gun ran out of bullets; he then fled on foot. 

Anyone with information on Burney-Thorne is asked to contact PA Crimestoppers at 1-800-4PA-TIPS or submit a tip online. They also can call 911 or contact Philadelphia police with an anonymous tip by calling or texting (215) 686-8477.