Ex-Philadelphia officer who fatally shot 12-year-old boy faces murder charge
A Philadelphia police officer was charged in connection with fatally shooting a 12-year-old boy in March, the city's district attorney announced Monday.
Driving the news: Edsaul Mendoza is facing first-degree and third-degree murder charges in the shooting death of Thomas "TJ" Siderio on March 1, Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner said at a press conference.
- The former officer also faces a voluntary manslaughter charge and a charge for possession of an instrument of crime. Mendoza is being held without bail, Krasner said.
What happened: Mendoza was one of four plainclothes officers inside an unmarked police car on a firearms investigation during the evening of March 1, when they pulled up to Siderio and a 17-year-old.
- Krasner said Siderio "likely" fired at the car, and a bullet entered the back window. Three of the officers took cover, but Mendoza ran after the boy and shot at him three times.
- At the time of the last two shots, Siderio was unarmed because he tossed the gun during the foot chase, Krasner said.
The aftermath: Days after the shooting, police commissioner Danielle Outlaw called the officer's actions excessive, saying that the cop violated the department's use-of-force policy.
- Mendoza was fired from the police force shortly after.
What they're saying: "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, had no ability to harm him, but he fired a shot through his back," Krasner said.
The Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 5 president John McNesby told Axios it'll provide an attorney to represent Mendoza.
- "We are confident that our judicial system will protect this officer's constitutional right to a fair trial," McNesby said.
What's next: A preliminary hearing is set for May 16.
Editor's note: This story has been updated to add background and details from Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner's announcement, as well as a comment from Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 5 president John McNesby.