A former Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, police officer has been charged with first-degree murder in the shooting death of a 12-year-old boy, CNN has reported.
What are the details?
Authorities say 26-year-old Edsaul Mendoza — one of four plainclothes officers in an unmarked police car on March 1 — fatally shot 12-year-old Thomas Siderio, who was reportedly riding his bicycle the wrong way down a street while accompanied by a 17-year-old only identified by initials “N.K.”
According to CNN, the officers pulled up to speak with Thomas and the 17-year-old, at which point Siderio was said to have “likely” fired at the officers’ vehicle. A bullet, according to the report, entered the car’s rear window.
“Three of the officers took cover, but Mendoza engaged in an ‘tactically unsound’ foot chase of the boy and shot at him three times,” the report added. Two of the shots, according to authorities, were fired after Mendoza dropped his weapon. Mendoza, authorities stated, fired the third — and fatal — shot from a “half-car length away” while the 12-year-old was lying facedown on the ground.
On Monday, District Attorney Larry Krasner announced that Mendoza was charged with first-degree murder in connection with the boy’s death, and said that the boy was both unarmed and on the ground when the Mendoza fired on him.
Krasner added Mendoza shot the teen in the back despite knowing that he was no longer in any danger.
“The gun was sitting on the street below the curb line nearly 40 feet away,” Krasner said. “That’s when Officer Mendoza fired the third and fatal shot. He knew the 12-year-old, 5-foot tall, 111-pound Thomas Siderio no longer had a gun and no ability to harm him, but he fired a shot through his back nonetheless that killed him.”
According to a report from the Washington Post, Krasner said that audio and video also indicates that Mendoza knew the teen was unarmed when he fired the third and fatal shot.
“It is certain that Thomas Siderio, when he was shot, was essentially facedown on the sidewalk in a position that approximates a push-up, turning back toward where the officer was pursuing him,” Krasner added.
Mendoza was charged with first-degree murder, third-degree murder, voluntary manslaughter, and possession of an instrument of crime with intent to use it criminally, Krasner added.
The ex-cop was remanded to jail on Monday and is being held without bail. He is due in court on May 16.
Fired Philadelphia officer charged with murder in shooting of 12-year-old boy