PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Hundreds of students returned to class at Roxborough High School for the first time on Wednesday.outside school on Tuesday. Many of them are devastated after gunmen ambushed several football players, one of whom was killed.
They were greeted by a heavy police presence. Students described the mood as gloomy.
As everyone returned to class, bereavement counselors were made available to staff and students. The district says it has activated its emergency crisis response team and will be back Thursday.
Many students said they were shaken by this.They are trying to deal with the ongoing gun violence.
“My friend, it was his friend who passed away yesterday. So it’s like it’s really taking its toll on a lot of people,” said Roxborough High School student Jeremiah Pritchett.
Student Ebony Edrah said, “I miss old Philadelphia where, like you, you can go out and not have to worry about anything, have to go out and now have to worry about getting shot.”
Police say the shooting happened shortly before 4:45 p.m. Tuesday in the 300 block of Fairway Terrace.
Investigators say football players from Roxborough High, Northeast High and Boys’ Latin Charter School were leaving the field after their scrum when they were suddenly ambushed.
A 14-year-old boy was shot in the left side and later died in hospital. Police identified him as Nicholas Elizalde of Havertown, Pennsylvania. He went to Saul’s nearby high school, but played for the Roxborough football team because Saul doesn’t have one.
Another 14-year-old boy was shot in the left thigh. A 17-year-old boy was shot four times – once in his right arm and three times in his left leg. These two, along with a fourth victim, are all stable.
The fifth victim was treated at the scene for an abrasion.
When the students arrived at school on Wednesday morning, they said gun violence was scary, but they won’t let it stop them from getting an education.
“Really, gun violence should stop. But either way, I still want to go to school for people who couldn’t today and for people who are in the hospital,” Pritchett said.
A union spokesperson representing teachers at Roxborough High said they acknowledged it was scary to go to school the day after the shooting.
“I think when you’re a teacher in Philadelphia you’re used to dealing with tough situations, obviously not that tough, so our teachers are always willing to stand up and put their needs on the back burner and do what they need for their children,” said PFT staff representative LeShawna Coleman. “I have told several teachers today that if you need help, there is support for you in a certain class, please go ahead. .'”
Investigators say they recovered 9mm, 40 caliber and 5.7×28 armour-piercing casings from the scene.
No arrests were made.