Thomas Siderio shooting: Judge upholds murder charges against former officer accused of killing 12-year-old boy

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) — A judge on Tuesday upheld the charges against a former Philadelphia police officer accused of shooting and killing a 12-year-old boy.

Edsaul Mendoza is charged with first and third degree murder in the death of Thomas Siderio.

Mendoza was one of four undercover officers patrolling 18th Street and Johnson Street in South Philadelphia on March 1.

Officers claim they saw two young men, including one identified as Siderio. One of them held a gun.

SEE ALSO: Former Philadelphia police officer charged with murder in shooting of 12-year-old boy

Officers drove toward the two men, stopped a few yards away, and then activated the red and blue emergency lights on their unmarked vehicle, police said.

According to the police, the officials heard shots and glass splinters from the rear passenger window at that moment.

One of the officers was hit in the face and eyes by shards of glass. According to police, the bullet went through the glass of the rear passenger window, hit the inside door frame and then the passenger’s headrest before stopping in the vehicle’s headliner. Philadelphia prosecutor Larry Krasner said it was Siderio who shot the car.

Two of the officers got out of the vehicle and shot Siderio.

Police say Siderio was hit in his upper right back, with the bullet exiting his left chest.

He was taken to the hospital and pronounced dead a short time later.

According to the grand jury presentation in May, Mendoza fired a total of three shots.

The first shot was fired near 18th and Barbara, and the second shot was fired after Siderio discarded his gun, the grand jury presentation explained.

Then Siderio stopped running and fell to the ground, either because he tripped or jumped to the ground, according to the account.

Mendoza then approached Siderio without taking cover, Krasner said, in a manner “completely inconsistent with Mendoza believing Siderio was armed.”

The grand jury presentation states that Mendoza was about 10 feet from Siderio when he allegedly fired a third shot, killing Siderio.

SEE ALSO: Family of 12-year-old boy shot and killed by Philadelphia police speaks out during vigil

Within a minute of the shooting, Mendoza reportedly told another officer that Siderio had thrown the gun and pointed to where it was.

“So when Mendoza fired the third and fatal shot, he knew that the 12-year-old, 1.60 meter tall and 51 kilogram Thomas Siderio no longer had a weapon and could not harm him,” said Krasner.

Mendoza’s indictment is scheduled for October 25.

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