Authorities say the man who’s currently in custody for the shooting that injured a police officer in the streets of Philadelphia Thursday night has confessed to the crime, saying he did it “in the name of Islam.”
Philadelphia Police Commissioner Richard Ross says the officer, identified as 33-year-old Jesse Hartnett, was sitting in his patrol car around 11:30 p.m. at 60th and Spruce Streets when a gunman fired a total of 13 shots, using a stolen gun through the driver’s side of the car at 11:40 p.m. (Thursday), three of which hit Hartnett in the arm.
Philadelphia Police Captain James Clark indicated that the suspect, 30-year-old Edward Archer, “stated that he pledges his allegiance to Islamic State, he follows Allah and that is the reason he was called upon to do this.”
Despite being seriously wounded, Hartnett got out of his car, chased the suspect and returned fire, wounding his attacker in the buttocks, officials said. Other officers chased Archer and apprehended him.
Ross, who called the shooting “an attempted assassination of a police officer”, provided that update during a news conference on Friday afternoon.
He also called the incident “absolutely amazing” that Harnett survived. “It’s nothing short of miraculous and we’re thankful for that,” he said.
“I just have to tell you, when you look at the video – we have video that captured all of this – it’s one of the scariest things I’ve ever seen,” said Ross. “This guy tried to execute the police officer. It’s amazing he’s alive.”
But Ross said there is no indication that Archer did, in fact, have any concrete ties to radical Islam or the terror group.
“I would qualify that by saying I just don’t know. I’m just hesitant to jump to conclusions one way or the other.”
Hartnett, 33, is a five-year veteran of the force. He suffered extensive injuries to his arm, but authorities say he was awake and alert prior to surgery. He’s being treated for wounds that are not life-threatening, and condition is unknown.
The officer’s father, Robert Hartnett, got to the hospital immediately. After surgery, his son woke up and they were able to speak.
“I love him and very proud of him. He’s an excellent person,” Robert Hartnett said.