A 12-year-old boy was fatally shot by a Philadelphia police officer Tuesday after allegedly shooting at four officers in an unmarked patrol car, police said.
The four plain clothes officers, assigned to the city's South Task Force, were pursuing an illegal gun possession investigation when they spotted a teen wanted for questioning in relation to their investigation, according to a statement from the Philadelphia Police Department.
The officers drove toward the teen, who was with the 12-year-old, and put on the car's sirens, police said.
"At that point, they heard gunfire and glass shattering from the rear passenger window," according to police. One officer was struck by shards of glass while two others pursued the 12-year-old, who had shot at the car.
The boy, identified by police as Thomas Siderio, was shot in his upper right back area, with the bullet exiting from the left chest area. He was pronounced dead at the hospital.
The officer who was hit by the shards of glass was treated at the hospital and released. No other officers were injured.
The gun allegedly shot by Siderio, a Taurus, 9MM, semi-automatic handgun, was recovered at the scene, police said. The firearm had been stolen.
The other teen, 17, who police were originally pursuing, was stopped for questioning and released.
Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw said the shooting incident is under investigation and the four officers involved are 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,” Outlaw said. "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."
In 2020, local news outlets reported that Siderio had gone missing. Police said at the time that he regularly broke curfew and was thought to be with a friend, about a mile from where he was shot Tuesday.