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

Edsaul Mendoza, 26, is charged with first-degree murder and other crimes in the death of 12-year-old Thomas "TJ" Siderio.

The back of a Philadelphia police van is seen on a street

Shown is a police vehicle in in Philadelphia, Wednesday, Oct. 27, 2021. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

This story originally appeared on 6abc.

The former Philadelphia police officer who is accused of fatally shooting a 12-year-old boy in the back has been charged with murder, according to court documents.

Edsaul Mendoza, 26, who was fired following the shooting of Thomas “TJ” Siderio, is charged with first-degree murder, third-degree murder, voluntary manslaughter and possessing an instrument of crime.

Police said four plainclothes South Task Force officers in an unmarked car were conducting surveillance on March 1 while responding to social media posts involving a stolen gun.

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The officers allege they saw two young males, including one identified as Siderio, at 18th and Barbara. One of them was holding a gun.

The officers drove toward the two males, stopped a few feet away, then activated the red and blue emergency lights on their unmarked vehicle, police say.

According to police, that’s when the officers heard gunfire and the sound of glass shattering from the rear passenger window.

One of the officers was hit by shards of glass in his face and eyes. Police say the bullet went through the rear passenger window’s glass, hit the inner doorframe, then went through the passenger’s headrest before stopping in the vehicle’s headliner.

Two of the officers got out of the vehicle and fired at Siderio.

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

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

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