Cops: Suspect Says He Shot Officer In Name Of Islam

By Justin Finch, Rahel Solomon, Walt Hunter & Natasha Brown

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Authorities say a Philadelphia police officer is recovering after he was shot several times during an ambush late Thursday night in West Philadelphia.

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 nearly a dozen shots through the driver’s side of the car.

(credit: Philadelphia Police)

(credit: Philadelphia Police)

“Shots fired! I’m shot! I’m bleeding heavily!” Officer Hartnett was heard yelling on police radio.

Police are calling it an “attempted assassination.”

PHOTOS: Suspect shoots at police officer at point blank range 

During a press conference, Commissioner Ross said the gun used in the attack was a stolen police firearm.

“It was stolen back in October of 2013. It was reported, and that is one of the things you regret the most when an officer’s gun is stolen, when it is used against one of your own.”

(DISCLAIMER: Graphic photo below) 

(credit: Real Time Crime Police Camera)

Photo released of suspect aiming at officer at point blank range. (credit: Real Time Crime Police Camera from police sources)

Commissioner Ross says the suspect has given a full confession, saying he did it in the name of Islam.

“According to him, police bend laws that are contrary to the teachings of the Quran.”

Sources say the suspect’s full confession of the alleged attack was written down and recorded on video.

(credit: Philadelphia Police)

(credit: Philadelphia Police)

Police identify the suspect as 30-year-old Edward Archer, of Yeadon.

“When you look at the video, this is one of the scariest things I’ve ever seen,” Commissioner Ross said. “This guy tried to execute the police officer. The police officer had no idea he was coming. It’s amazing he’s alive.”

“We’re thankful to God he’s here today because it easily could’ve been a police funeral.”

Hartnett was taken to Penn Presbyterian Medical Center where he underwent surgery for a broken arm. Ross says the officer’s arm suffered significant damage and that he has a long road to recovery.  As of Friday night, he was listed in stable condition and police officials say he will need several surgeries to repair his arm.

 

His father, Robert Hartnett said, “It’s going to be a tough road, but he’s a tough guy. I told him I love him, and I’m proud of him and he is an excellent person.”

Hartnett returned fire and struck Archer. He tried to escape on foot, authorities say, but was quickly caught by responding officers.

He was transported to the University of Pennsylvania in where he was treated for a gunshot wound to his buttocks, police say.

Sources say the wounded officer told investigators that Archer walked up to the car, appeared to be about to ask for directions when he pulled a 9 mm and opened up with shots.

 

 

 

Mayor of Philadelphia Jim Kenney also spoke at the press conference held Friday afternoon.

“Our main concern at the moment today is the well being, the health, and the recovery and rehabilitation of Officer Hartnett. Obviously you can see the bravery that he displayed,” said Mayor Kenney.

“I want to compliment homicide division, the police department for their tremendous work, their ongoing every day tremendous work but especially in this particular case.”

Mayor Kenney said, “In no way shape or form does anyone in this room believe that Islam or the teaching of Islam has anything to do with what you’ve seen on the screen.”

Mayor Kenney said of the shooting, “It is abhorrent. It is terrible and it does not represent the religion in any way, shape or form or any of its teachings.”

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

Philadelphia’s Muslim community is reacting to the shooting.  Community activist and Ahmadiyya Muslim Community USA spokesperson Bilal Quayyum says he has talked to other Muslims in the city about the alleged actions of Archer, and Quayyum says they are “Very upset that he would proclaim a violent act against an individual and in the name of Islam its not what we believe and is a negative.” Quayyum adds that Muslims in Philadelphia are praying for the recovery of Officer Hartnett.

The True Islam Campaign was established to help distinguish True Islam from extremists and is sponsored by Quayyum’s organization.

It focuses particularly on Muslim American youth and on Americans looking to understand how to distinguish Muslims from extremists.

You can read more on their website by clicking here.

Hartnett is an 18th district officer with four years on the force.

Friday afternoon, Commissioner Ross joined Rich Zeoli and Dawn Stensland on Talk Radio 1210 WPHT.

“I just left Officer Harnett and I passed along all the well wishes that we got in my office from people all over this country,” said Commissioner Ross.

 

District Attorney Seth Williams says “I’m very thankful the officer is alive. This shows us the need for smarter laws when it relates to guns on the street. My office is going to do all that we can to ensure the defendant is held accountable to the fullest extent of the law.”

Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf released the following statement: ‘We are thankful that Officer Hartnett is alive and not facing life-threatening injuries after being ambushed. We wish him and his family the best during his recovery. This alleged intentional act of violence against an officer seeking to help a fellow citizen is horrifying and has no place in Pennsylvania.’

The FBI is now assisting in the investigation.

KYW’s Kim Glovas contributed to this report.

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