Thomas Siderio Jr : Philly deputy commissioner not sure if 12-yr-old shot in back by cops had gun
PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA: A recent incident involving the death of a 12-year-old boy has raised questions on Philadelphia police. On Tuesday, March 1, the boy identified as Thomas Siderio Jr was fatally shot by cops; the commissioner later accused him of being armed and dangerously attacking police officers. But the deputy commissioner has dramatically said that he wasn’t sure that the child, who was declared dead at Penn Presbyterian Medical Center, was carrying the gun.
According to reports, four South Task Force officers in plainclothes were doing surveillance inside an unmarked vehicle in south Philadelphia at around 7:20 in the evening. The monitoring was part of a firearms probe. It has been said that while in the area, cops saw two males on a corner. One of them was reportedly seen in possession of a handgun while the other one was recognized as someone wanted for interrogation in that firearms probe involving a stolen gun.
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The cops apparently tried to approach the males by driving towards them before stopping a few feet away and starting the red and blue emergency lights of their car. Police said that’s when a shot was fired that shattered the glass of the rear passenger window of their vehicle, hurting one of the cops in his face and eyes. After which, two other cops went outside and fired at Siderio, who was reportedly still carrying the gun.
The accused was eventually hit on his upper right back by one of the cops. He was then taken to the hospital but couldn't be saved and pronounced dead just before 7:30 pm. A doorbell camera in the area reportedly captured the whole incident. Police also stated that Siderio was having a stolen 9MM equipped with a laser. The weapon, containing one round in the chamber and five in the magazine, was then taken into custody from the scene. The other 17-year-old male, who was seen with Siderio, was reportedly detained but was later freed.
In a statement, Philadelphia Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw, said: “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. 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.”
She added: “I ask that our community come together and be the community-the village-that we were intended to be and that our children need. I assure the public that a fair and thorough investigation will be conducted by our Internal Affairs Division. Per protocol, these officers have been placed on administrative duty pending the outcome of the investigation.”
Deputy Commissioner Benjamin Naish also confirmed the shooting and police car getting attacked but was not confident that Siderio had fired at the vehicle. Naish said: “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.” He also added: “While the indications from the medical examiner is that the bullet entered into his back, that does not mean he was fleeing or that there was not a gun being pointed toward or in the vicinity of the officer. It doesn't mean that he wasn't continuing to be a threat to the officer.”
Meanwhile, reports have said that Siderio’s past was troubled. In April 2020, he was reported missing before being found two days later. “The School District of Philadelphia is heartbroken over the tragic shooting of one of our students. Our thoughts and prayers are with the family members, friends and school community who are grieving this loss. We have made counseling and support services available for those who may need assistance coping or who wish to talk about what happened,” a spokesperson for the district said. Siderio was reportedly a student at Sharswood School.