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Police say man who shot Philadephia cop pledged allegiance to Islamic State

They also said the man used a stolen police gun in the crime.

18-018 60th & Spruce St (1_7_2016 11_40_35 PM) Source: Philadelphia Police

A MAN USING a gun stolen from police said he was acting in the name of Islam when he ambushed an officer sitting in his marked cruiser at an intersection, firing shots at point-blank range, authorities said today.

Homicide unit commander Captain James Clarke said suspect Edward Archer told detectives: “I follow Allah. I pledge my allegieance to the Islamic State. That is why I did what I did.”

Philly.com reports he told officers he believed police enforced laws that are counter to Islam.

Both the officer and suspect were injured during the barrage of gunfire.

Suspect Edward Archer. Source: Philadelphia Police

The suspect, 30-year-old Edward Archer, also pledged allegiance to the Islamic State group when he was questioned after his arrest in the shooting late yesterday, police said.

The shooting of Officer Jesse Hartnett was an attempted assassination, Police Commissioner Richard Ross said.

“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.”

In a recording from the officer’s police radio, he can be heard telling the control room: “Shots fired…I’m shot, I’m bleeding heavily”.


Source: phillyfirenews/SoundCloud

Hearing voices

Ross said Archer told police he believed the department defends laws that are contrary to Islam.

“It stands to reason there is more unknown than known,” Ross said.

Archer’s mother, Valerie Holliday, told The Philadelphia Inquirer he has been hearing voices recently and that family asked him to get help. She also described him as devout Muslim.

Source: Philadelphia Police

The gunman fired at least 13 shots toward Hartnett and eventually got up next to the car and reached through the driver’s-side window.

Despite being seriously wounded, Hartnett got out of his car, chased the suspect and returned fire, wounding his attacker. Archer was treated and released into police custody.

Source: Philadelphia Police

Hartnett, 33, was in stable condition.

“I don’t know how this officer survived,” Ross said.

Police said there was no indication anyone else was involved. Archer has addresses in Philadelphia and the suburb of Yeadon.

The gun used by Archer was stolen from an officer’s home in 2013, police said. Officials said they were trying to figure how Archer got the weapon and whether it passed through other people’s hands in the time since the theft.

Source: Philadelphia Police Department/AP

The officer’s father, Robert Hartnett, said his son was in good spirits.

“He’s a tough guy,” he said.

Hartnett 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.

“It was shocking, but the officers were very excellent and comforted me and got me down there,” he told Philly.com. “Jesse was groggy when they finally got him out but he was aware of his surroundings and knew what was going on.”

Robert Hartnett said his son’s survival is “a miracle.”

 

‘Abhorrent’

Jim Kenney, in his first week as mayor of the nation’s fifth-largest city, said, called Archer’s actions “abhorrent” and “terrible” and said they have nothing to do the teachings of Islam.

“This is a criminal with a stolen gun who tried to kill one of our officers,” he said. “It has nothing to do with being a Muslim or following the Islamic faith.”

Archer had been scheduled to be sentenced on Monday in a case in Delaware County according to court records.

He was found guilty of forcing documents, careless driving, driving with a suspended or revoked license and other related offences.

Previously, he had been convicted in an assault case in Philadephia and was charged with aggravated assault, conspiracy, firearms offences and terroristic threats for an incident in January 2012. He pleaded guilty to simple assault and carrying a gun without a licence.

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