Thomas Siderio Wiki – Biography
Thomas Siderio was shot in the back and killed by a Philadelphia police officer identified.
The unnamed officer shot twice at Thomas Siderio as the boy ran away, striking him once in the upper right side of his back, with the bullet coming out through the front left side of his chest, the Philadelphia Police Department said in a press release Wednesday.
He was 12 years old.
The PPD said Siderio was holding a stolen 9mm semiautomatic gun at the time. Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw said in a written statement that “a young child with a gun in their hand purposely fired a weapon at our officers.” Still, in a press conference with reporters, her deputy commissioner said he could not definitively ascertain whether Siderio opened fire.
“However, the life of a young man was cut tragically short, and we should all be questioning how we as a society have failed him and so many other young people like him,” Outlaw said.
The department said that the unnamed officer was fired after three other plainclothes officers were shot at while sitting in an unmarked car. An officer sitting in the rear passenger seat was hit by shards of glass in the face and eyes, according to police.
“I can’t be definitive about exactly everything at this point, but I can be definitive that a shot was fired into the police vehicle and a gun was recovered,” Philadelphia Police Deputy Commissioner Ben Naish said.
The officers were conducting surveillance in the area of 18th and Barbara streets around 7:24 p.m. Tuesday when they spotted two boys on bicycles, the PPD said. They noticed one of the boys, a 17-year-old, was wanted in a gun investigation, the department said.
The department added that the officers drove toward the pair, stopping a few feet north of Barbara Street and turning on the vehicle’s lights.
At that point, the officers heard gunfire and glass shattering from the rear passenger window, police said.
The officer who was driving and an officer sitting in the rear driver’s side seat got out of the car and fired at Siderio, who was holding a gun and running away, Naish said. The deputy commissioner added one of the officers continued chasing the boy, firing two more times and mortally striking him with one of the bullets.
He said he could not “get into specifics” about whether the officers told the boy to stop or drop the gun.
None of the officers wore a body camera because the current policy does not require plainclothes officers to wear one, Naish said.
Though the boy was shot in the back, it doesn’t mean he wasn’t pointing the gun toward or “in the vicinity” of the officer, the deputy commissioner said. He added that the weapon Siderio was holding had one live round in the chamber and five in the magazine.
Police took the boy to Penn Presbyterian Medical Center pronounced him dead at 7:29 p.m. The officer hit by the glass was treated at the same hospital and later released.
The 17-year-old wanted for questioning in the firearms case was released pending further investigation, the police department said. The teen’s mother, who didn’t want to be identified, told NBC10 her son and Siderio didn’t know police were approaching them.
“They’re saying the cop car turned their lights on, that never happened,” the woman said. “So they didn’t make themselves known as police officers. So the two kids assumed it was somebody from another neighbourhood so the one kid shot at the car.”
The four officers involved in the incident have been placed on administrative leave pending the outcome of a full investigation, Outlaw said.
The Philadelphia School District confirmed Siderio was a 7th grader at George W. Sharswood Elementary in South Philadelphia.