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Ex-Philadelphia police officer pleads guilty to 3rd-degree murder of 12-year-old Thomas Siderio

Family of 12-year-old shot by former Philadelphia officer sues city
Family of 12-year-old shot by former Philadelphia officer sues city 00:42

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) - Edsaul Mendoza, the former Philadelphia police officer who shot and killed 12-year-old Thomas "T.J." Siderio in March 2022, pleaded guilty to third-degree murder Friday, according to court documents.

Mendoza was charged with first-degree, third-degree and voluntary manslaughter in connection with Siderio's murder. He's scheduled to be sentenced on July 22, sources told CBS Philadelphia's Joe Holden.

Siderio was fatally shot by Mendoza on March 1, 2022, after a chase in South Philadelphia. Mendoza and three other plainclothes officers in an unmarked car tried to stop Siderio and a 17-year-old near 18th and Barbara streets around 7:30 p.m. The officers claimed the 17-year-old had a stolen gun that was allegedly posted on Instagram a week before.

Police alleged Siderio fired a gun at the officers in the car, shattering the rear window. Siderio and the 17-year-old ran in different directions and Mendoza chased Siderio on Barbara Street toward Moyamensing Avenue. Siderio ditched the gun during the chase, police said.

Mendoza fired three shots at Siderio during the chase - one at 18th and Barbara streets and then another after Siderio discarded a gun, according to prosecutors. The third and fatal shot happened from "less than 10 feet away" into Siderio's back while he was "face down on the ground," according to a lawsuit filed by Siderio's family against the city and Mendoza.

The Philadelphia Medical Examiner's Office ruled Siderio's death a homicide in 2022.  

Former Philadelphia Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw fired Mendoza after the shooting for violating the department's use of force directive.

In October 2022, Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner said evidence showed that Mendoza knew that Siderio was unarmed when he fired the fatal shot into his back.

Earlier this year, Siderio's family sued Philadelphia and Mendoza seeking compensation for wrongful death. The lawsuit also claims systemic failures by the Philadelphia Police Department.

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