Gunman Who Ambushed Officer Pledges Allegiance to IS

- Police say the suspect in the shooting of a Philadelphia police officer told investigators that he shot the officer in the name of Islam and pledged allegiance to the Islamic State group.

The gunman,  identified as 30-year-old Edward Archer, ambushed Officer Jesse Hartnett as he sat in his marked cruiser at an intersection. Hartnett was struck him three times in the arm before managing to return fire, wounding Archer, who was later apprehended. 

Authorities say Archer, who has addresses in Philadelphia and the suburb of Yeadon, used a stolen police gun in the crime.

Police Commissioner Richard Ross said the suspect fired at least 11 shots from the stolen 9 mm handgun at close range, late Thursday night. He continued firing as he walked toward Officer Hartnett and eventually got up next to the car and reached through the driver's-side window.

Police Commissioner Richard Ross said Friday the gun was reported stolen from an officer's home in October 2013 but they don't know how many hands it passed through before being used in the Thursday night shooting.

Commissioner Ross admitted Friday while reviewing photos from the incident that he was "amazed Officer Hartnett is here with us today."

While in custody, detectives say the man pledged his allegiance to the Islamic State, and admitted to acting in the name of Islam.  

"We had the suspect upstairs, where homicide unit talked to him. Right away, he didn't have anything to say. But then, he stated that he pledges his allegiance to Islamic State, he follows Allah and that is the reason he was called upon to do this," said Captain James Clark, He just kept on echoing those sentiments, and he wouldn't give us anything more than that."

"According to him he believed that police defend laws that are contrary to the teachings of the Koran," Commissioner Ross said Friday.

"This is absolutely one of the scariest things I've ever seen," the commissioner said. "This guy tried to execute the police officer. The police officer had no idea he was coming."

Hartnett, 33, had served eight years in the Coast Guard and joined the police five years ago. He always wanted to be a police officer, his father said.

Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney also spoke at the Press Conference Friday.

"Our main concern at the moment and today is the well-being, and the health, recovery and rehabilitation, of Officer Hartnett," Mayor Kenney said.

The FBI is assisting the Philadelphia Police and Homicide Detectives with the investigation. 

FOX 29 crews were there as investigators searched one of Archer's listed addresses. 

Stay with FOX 29 for more on this story as it develops. 

 

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