/  03.03.2022

A 12-year-old boy is dead after being shot by Philly police on Tuesday (March 1), several outlets and the Philadelphia Police Department stated this week. In an update, the deceased kid has been identified as Thomas Siderio.

According to a PPD press release that went out on Wednesday (March 2), an unnamed officer and three other plainclothes cops were surveilling the area of 18th and Barbara street early Tuesday evening when they saw two boys on bicycles, one of whom was a 17-year-old that was wanted in a gun investigation.

Police say they drove toward the boys (in an unmarked car) and turned on their vehicle’s lights before hearing gunfire and glass shattering from their rear passenger window. Philadelphia authorities claim Siderio had a stolen 9mm semiautomatic gun and “purposely fired a weapon at our officers.” Police say one of their men “sustained significant injury to his eyes from shattered glass.”

Two officers reportedly got out of the car and fired at Siderio as he held a gun and ran away. One of the officers continued chasing the boy and fired at him twice, ultimately killing the 12-year-old with one of his bullets.

“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, according to NBC Philadelphia. The outlet adds, “He said he could not ‘get into specifics’ about whether the officers told the boy to stop or to drop the gun.”

The deputy commissioner also reportedly said that although Siderio was shot in the back, it doesn’t necessarily mean he wasn’t pointing the gun “in the vicinity” of the officers.

As for the 17-year-old, PPD says he was released pending further investigation. The teen’s mom insists the police officers did not make themselves known to the two boys, however.

“They’re saying the cop car turned their lights on, that never happened,” she said. “So they didn’t make themselves known as police officers. So the two kids assumed it was somebody from another neighborhood, so the one kid shot at the car.”

Thomas Siderio was a 7th grader at George W. Sharswood Elementary. May he rest in peace.

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