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Philly cop who fatally shot 12-year-old boy to be fired; commissioner says boy shot police vehicle, ran off with gun — but wouldn't say if he had gun when he was shot

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Image source: WXTF-TV video screenshot

Philadelphia Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw said the police officer who fatally shot a 12-year-old boy last week will be fired. Outlaw also said the boy in question hit a police vehicle with gunfire and ran off with a gun before being shot — but wouldn't answer if the boy was in possession of the gun at the time he was shot.

Outlaw noted that the officer who fatally shot the boy — identified by police only as "Officer #1" due to threats the officer has received — will be suspended for 30 days with intent to dismiss, WXTF-TV reported.

The commissioner also said during Tuesday's briefing that the shooting on the evening of March 1 that killed Thomas Siderio violated the department’s use of force directive, the station said.

What's the background?

Outlaw said four officers in plain clothes were in an unmarked car as part of an investigation related to Violation of the Uniform Firearms Act. VUFA addresses illegal gun possession.

She added that the officers saw Siderio and a 17-year-old boy on the corner of 18th Street and Barbara Street and recognized one of them as wanted for VUFA questioning.

Police said the officers approached the boys and activated the vehicle's emergency lights when they heard gunfire and heard a bullet shatter the rear passenger window, WXTF said. Outlaw said the bullet tore through the front passenger seat's headrest and ended up in the vehicle's headliner.

Shattered glass injured the face and eyes of an officer in the back seat, the station added.

"The evidence collected thus far indicates that it was Thomas Siderio who discharged the firearm into the police vehicle," Outlaw said.

Outlaw added that two officers then exited the police vehicle and shot once each at Siderio, who "was still in possession of the firearm when he fled on foot."

She also said that while "Officer #2" took cover, "Officer #1" pursued Siderio on foot and shot twice at him, hitting Siderio once in his upper right back.

Police rushed Siderio to a hospital where he was pronounced dead at 7:29 p.m., Outlaw added.

Here's video of Outlaw's address to the media:

Was the boy in possession of a gun when he was shot?

WXTF said Outlaw declined to directly answer if Siderio was still armed when he was shot, citing the ongoing investigation. But the station said sources with knowledge of the investigation said video of the incident appears to show Siderio did not have a gun when he was shot.

Outlaw also said during her media address that Siderio's gun recovered from the scene — a Taurus 9mm semiautomatic handgun equipped with a laser sight and loaded with one round in the chamber and five rounds in the magazine — was in stolen status.

She added that police questioned and released the 17-year-old boy.

Anything else?

The mother of the 17-year-old who had been with Siderio told the Philadelphia Inquirer that her son told her the officers did not turn on their emergency lights or identify themselves as police before any shots were fired. She added to the paper that the boys were afraid someone in the car was about to attack them and didn’t know there were officers inside.

She also added to KYW-TV that Siderio was a troubled child who "had no chance in life" and lacked a father figure.

Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner said Monday that investigators are still speaking to witnesses and gathering information as part of its investigation, the station said, adding that Krasner said he expected "developments" in the case this week.

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