PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The Philadelphia police officer who was ambushed and shot two years ago while sitting in his patrol car took the witness stand Monday, testifying against the alleged gunman.
Edward Archer is standing trial for attempted murder, accused of shooting Officer Jesse Hartnett late on the evening of January 7, 2016.
In his cruiser at 60th and Spruce Streets, investigators say Archer approached, and began firing in an ambush that police say was carried out in the name of an Islamic State group. Repeatedly through the day, the jury heard Hartnett over a police dispatch recording yell, “I’m shot, I’m shot.” Some jurors wiped away tears as the wounded officer’s voice screamed through the courtroom.
Hartnett told the jury he was fighting a cold and was about to go get some hot tea around 11:40 p.m. when out of the corner of his eye he saw a man dressed in a white garb, with what looked like a hospital mask, approach him and begin firing.
Prosecutors carefully weaved through the events of that winter night in West Philadelphia. Hartnett, an East Lansdowne native and 18th District officer, was hit in the left arm.
Hartnett said he ducked for cover and threw his left arm over his head before feeling his upper arm bone break from a bullet hitting his limb.
Hartnett then recalled the moments following when he radioed for help and chased after the suspect, testifying he shot at the suspect several times and saw the man drop.
Responding officers, like Michael Kane, told the court, “Hearing that call was like a shock to the chest, as if something happens to your child.
He said he raced back to his car and as he tried to reach for a tourniquet, he said he could hear his blood splatter on the ground.
Prosecutors pulled up hospital photos of his wounds and x-rays, and asked Hartnett to describe the medical care, to which the defense objected, saying Hartnett wasn’t an expert.
The defense briefly crossed-examined Hartnett, asking him if he ever saw the suspect, to which he replied, “I only saw the eyes.”
Archer is on trial for attempted homicide, the most serious charge filed against him.
An attorney for Archer cross-examined Hartnett asking if his client had said anything while firing his weapon. Hartnett responded he only heard gunshots.
“I can’t imagine what you went through that night,” Defense Attorney Trevor Borum said. “I am glad you’re here today.”
Hartnett has undergone 11 surgeries. His voice quaked as prosecutors asked him to describe any limitations he’s had in caring for his little daughter, “Just made it really hard to do daily tasks, change her diaper.”
The trial could last into next week.