By Steve Tawa and Walt Hunter
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The man who allegedly shot a Philadelphia police officer “in the name of Islam,” 30-year old Edward Archer, is ordered held for trial, without bail.
The officer, who was hit several times, took the stand in a packed courtroom, during the defendant’s preliminary hearing.
Officer Jesse Hartnett described in vivid detail how he was ambushed in his patrol car as a man in white Muslim garb suddenly approached his vehicle, at 60th and Spruce Streets in West Philadelphia.
“I heard shots hitting the door panel, I then started hearing glass breaking,” Hartnett testified. “I could feel multiple gunshots hitting me and my arm. My blood is pouring on my leg at this point, I can’t feel my arm.”
He saw the man at the last instant, ducked for cover, and threw his arm over his head for protection. Hartnett was hit three times in the arm, but drew his weapon and fired. Then, he kicked open the door and chased his assailant, who was firing as he fled.
They continued their dueling gun battle in the middle of the street.
Assistant DA Jan McDermott calls the 33-year old Hartnett, a five year veteran of the force, a remarkable person.
“We listen to the 911 calls, watch the video and read his statement, and it’s a miracle that he’s still here.”
Court-appointed defense lawyer Trevan Borum says it’s highly unusual for his side to enter evidence at the preliminary hearing stage, but what about Archer’s confession that he did it ‘in the name of Islam?'”
“I think it would be irresponsible to speculate about the relevance of those comments.”
Borum acknowledges that he is duty-bound to explore the possibility of a mental disability defense.
“Whether or not he was acting under the influence of a mental illness; whether he could differentiate between right and wrong at the time this happened, that needs to be explored.”
Officer Hartnett also testified when admitted to the hospital, he had no pulse in his left arm, seven inches of his artery was damaged, and he lost half of his blood. He’s had seven surgeries since.
Archer is due back in court on March 31 for his formal arraignment, while Officer Hartnett faces yet another surgery, hoping to help restore use of his arm.