Philadelphia police: Suspect shot officer in name of Islam

January 9, 2016 7:44 am

A man accused of ambushing a police officer and firing shots at
point-blank range said he was acting in the name of Islam and pledged
allegiance to the Islamic State group, Philadelphia authorities said
Friday.
Both the officer and suspect were injured during the
barrage of gunfire late Thursday at an intersection as the officer sat
in his police car.
The suspect was identified as 30-year-old
Edward Archer. Police Commissioner Richard Ross said Archer told police
he believed the department defends laws that are contrary to Islam.
Ross said there was no apparent motive for the attack. Police said there was no indication anyone else was involved.

“He
just came out of nowhere and started firing on him,” Ross said of the
suspect. “He just started firing with one aim and one aim only, to kill
him.”

Officer Jesse Hartnett shouted, “I’m bleeding heavily!” into
his police radio, got out of his car and chased the suspect before
police apprehended him.
The gunman fired at least 13 shots toward
Hartnett and eventually reached through the driver’s-side window. The
officer returned fire, hitting his attacker at least three times.
Hartnett, 33, was in stable condition.
“I don’t know how this officer survived,” Ross said. “This is absolutely one of the scariest things I’ve ever seen.”

Edward Archer confronts a police car driven by Officer Jesse Hartnett in Philadelphia. Photo / AP
Edward Archer confronts a police car driven by Officer Jesse Hartnett in Philadelphia. Photo / AP
Archer’s mother, Valerie Holliday, told The Philadelphia
Inquirer her son has been hearing voices recently and that the family
asked him to get help. She also described him as a devout Muslim.
The gun used by Archer was stolen from an officer’s home in 2013, police said.
Jim
Kenney, in his first week as mayor of the nation’s fifth-largest city,
called Archer’s actions “abhorrent” and said they have nothing to do the
teachings of Islam.
The mayor also said, “There are just too
many guns on the streets, and I think our national government needs to
do something about that.”


 Video

Officials investigate the scene of a shooting in Philadelphia. Photo / AP
Officials investigate the scene of a shooting in Philadelphia. Photo / AP

A gun sits by a marker following a shooting in Philadelphia. Photo / AP
A gun sits by a marker following a shooting in Philadelphia. Photo / AP
His statement comes after President Barack Obama’s announcement Tuesday of his plan to tighten gun control laws.
Last
March, Archer pleaded guilty to firearms and assault charges stemming
from a 2012 case but was immediately released and placed on probation,
court records show. Records also show he was scheduled to be sentenced
Monday in suburban Philadelphia in a traffic and forgery case.
The
attorney who represented him in the firearms case was unavailable to
comment because he was in court, his office said. A message to his
lawyer in the forgery case was not immediately returned.

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