The anguished mom of a 14-year-old kid slain in a high school football scrimmage on Tuesday remembered the horrific scene where she heard bullets explode outside a Philadelphia high school. Meredith Elizalde was in her car, on her way to pick up her son at Roxborough High School after scrimmage, when she heard gunshots. By the moment she arrived, her son, Nicolas, was bleeding from a gunshot wound to his chest, according to reports.
She heard the firing start and had no clue where he was, but as a mother, she knew. She dashed to the shots. She rushed to the gunfire and couldn’t catch him, but she held him and felt him go. But she had him in her arms. He wasn’t alone, Elizalde told. She remembered stroking his cheek and saying, “I love you, and I’m here.” Elizalde quickly dialed 911. She read the shahada, an Islamic profession of faith, on his behalf as he breathed his final breath. She managed to keep her child as long as she could before a cop arrived.
According to the Philadelphia Police Department, the shooting that murdered Nicolas on Tuesday at Roxborough High School also wounded four other pupils. It started at 4:30 p.m., when a football scrimmage between athletes from three different schools finished. Nicolas, according to officials, was a spectator and not the intended target.
Nicolas was described by Elizalde as “the finest son anybody could wish for,” citing his love of animals and the environment, as well as his involvement in marches for abortion rights, gun regulation, and environmental conservation. She went on to say that Nicolas disliked guns and burst into tears when he learnt of the Robb Elementary School tragedy in Uvalde, Texas, in May, which killed 19 children and two teachers. He was the gentlest soul she’d ever met in her life, Elizalde remarked. She’s always compared it to parenting Gandhi.
Authorities are seeking a gang of four to five gunmen who they believe attacked the kids during the horrible attack. Video surveillance showed the gunman, who was all dressed in black, getting out of a light-colored SUV and starting fire on the group of teens. As per officials, the gunmen may also be kids.
More than 100 people attended a candlelight vigil in Gorgas Park, near Roxborough High School, on Thursday night. The vigil was organized by a group of local religious leaders. Elizalde stood in front of the gathering, encircled by relatives and friends, mourning her son’s death. Jamel Harris, a friend of Elizalde’s, attended the vigil with his daughter to show his support. He was a wonderful kid, Harris remembered. He knows folks say it all the time, but he was a very kind child.
Six days before his murder, Nicolas wrote an English paper about why people disobey rules, paying respect to characters he admired including Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Gandhi, who he thought ignored laws for greater good. He was seldom chastised at home, but understood that this was a luxury, noting, in what would become a horrible irony, that some people break regulations not since they are innately wicked, but because they are occasionally doing it due to their terrible surroundings.
Nicolas’ mom went on to say that his corneas were given and saved the sight of two individuals. In the aftermath, his family has found peace in this, believing that others who got it will see the world with the same gentle, unwavering love that Nicolas did.
Roxborough community comes together for a vigil in honor of Nicolas Elizalde, the 14 yr old killed by gunfire in an ambush that injured 4 other teens.Posted by Annie McCormick on Friday, 30 September 2022