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12-year-old killed by Philadelphia police after allegedly opening fire on officers

Last week, a 12-year-old boy was fatally shot by a Philadelphia police officer after he allegedly shot at four officers who were in an unmarked patrol car at the time.

The four officers assigned to the city’s South Task Force, who were in plain clothes at the time, were pursuing an illegal gun possession investigation when they noticed a teen wanted for questioning in relation to their work. 

The officers then drove toward the teen, who with the 12-year-old, and put on the vehicle’s sirens. “At that point, they heard gunfire and glass shattering from the rear passenger window,” according to a statement from the Philadelphia Police Department. One officer was struck by the shards of glass as two other officers pursued the 12-year-old, who had shot the vehicle. 

The boy was later identified by police as Thomas Siderio, and he had been shot in his upper right back area as the bullet exited from his left chest. He was then pronounced dead at the hospital.

The officer who was struck by the shards of glass received treatment at the hospital and was released. No other officers were injured in the incident. The gun that was reportedly shot by Siderio, which was a Taurus, 9MM, semi-automatic handgun, was recovered at the scene and had been stolen prior to the shooting. 

The teen, 17, who the police were pursuing originally, was stopped for questioning and later let go. Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw said the incident is under investigation and the involved officers had been placed on administrative leave.

“Last night, a young child with a gun in their hand purposely fired a weapon at our officers and by miracle, none of the officers suffered life threatening injuries,” said Outlaw. “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.”

ARTICLE: ELIZABETH HERTZBERG

MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE

PHOTO CREDITS: WHYY.ORG

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