Philadelphia police responding to shots fired at an unmarked police car shot and killed a 12-year-old boy Tuesday night.
Police said four officers in an unmarked patrol car spotted two people standing on a corner, one of whom appeared to be holding a handgun, according to The Philadelphia Inquirer.
“One was allegedly wanted for questioning as part of the investigation that police say was sparked by social media posts,” WTFX-TV reported on Wednesday.
As the car turned on its emergency lights and approached the corner, police said, it was hit by one bullet that shattered the rear passenger window.
Police said they fired at Thomas Siderio, 12, who was holding a gun.
12YO IDENTIFIED: Family members provided me with this picture of 12YO Thomas “TJ” Siderio, who was shot & killed by @PhillyPolice plain-clothed officers on Tuesday night, after investigators say an unmarked police vehicle was struck by gunfire @FOX29philly https://t.co/eq9SHay4bA pic.twitter.com/JI1FZX3Hu6
— Kelly Rule (@KellyRuleTV) March 2, 2022
The boy began to run away and officers gave chase, according to the Inquirer.
One officer fired twice at Thomas, the report said. The bullet struck the boy in the upper back on his right side and exited through his chest.
Thomas — a seventh-grader at Sharswood Elementary School, according to KYW-TV — was taken to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
Police said the gun he had been holding was a 9mm Taurus semiautomatic handgun with a laser.
The gun, which had one round in the chamber and five in its magazine, had been reported as stolen.
Police said they believe one of the two males they approached shot at them, but the officers were not wearing bodycams.
Deputy Commissioner Ben Naish said the fact that Thomas was hit in the back did not mean “that he was fleeing and that there was not a gun being pointed toward or in the vicinity of the officer,” the Inquirer reported. Naish said the boy could have been turning when he was hit.
An unidentified 17-year-old boy who was with Thomas was briefly detained and then released.
Police said the bullet that struck the police car came to rest in the passenger’s headrest.
One officer suffered face and eye injuries from the shattered glass.
“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,” Philadelphia Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw said in a statement on Wednesday.
“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. I ask that our community come together and be the community — the village — that we were intended to be and that our children need,” she said.
…have failed him and so many other young people like him. I ask that our community come together and be the community—the village—that we were intended to be, and that our children need…
— Danielle M. Outlaw (@PPDCommish) March 2, 2022
“These officers have been placed on administrative duty pending the outcome of the investigation,” she added.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.