According to police, four plain clothes officers of the South Task Force were operating an unmarked vehicle in the area of 18th and Johnston Streets near Barry Playground in reference to an ongoing Violation of Uniform Firearms Act investigation at approximately 7:24 p.m. on March 1.
Officers observed two males standing on the northwest corner of 18th and Barbara Streets and claimed one of the males was a wanted figure in reference to their investigation, police said. The officers drove their vehicle towards the males and activated the emergency lights on the unmarked car, police said.
According to police, they next heard gunfire and glass shattering from the rear passenger window and one of the officers was struck by broken glass in his face and eyes. Two officers exited the vehicle and shot 12-year-old Thomas Siderio, who was still in possession of his gun and fleeing on foot east, police said. One of the officers shot twice at Siderio, striking the suspect once in the upper right back area, which created an exit wound from his left chest area, police said.
He was transported by police to Presbyterian Hospital where he was pronounced dead at 7:29 p.m., police said. The officer who was injured by the shattered glass was treated at Presbyterian and was released, police said.
Further investigation revealed that the projectile that was fired at the unmarked police car left a perforating hole through the rear passenger window’s glass. Police say it struck the inner door frame, then perforated the passenger’s headrest.
“Last night, a young child with a gun in their hand purposely fired a weapon at our officers and my miracle, none of the officers suffered life threatening injuries,” said Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw. “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. 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.”
No other injuries to police or civilians were reported.
Police said Siderio was accompanying the target of the original weapons investigation, who was 17-years-old. He was questioned by police and released pending further investigation.
Police said Siderio was carrying a 9MM semi-automatic handgun, equipped with a laser. The gun was listed as stolen and was loaded with one round in the chamber and five rounds in the magazine, police said.