A police officer in Philadelphia was shot multiple times, execution style, as he sat in his patrol car, by a man wearing what witnesses described as “Muslim garb” – and not only did he survive, but the suspect was soon-after caught.
The suspect, Edward Archer, 30, of Yeadon, has given a full confession, saying he did it in the name of Islam, according to CBS News. Sources also told Eyewitness News that Archer provided the confession in written form, and his police testimony was recorded on camera, as well.
“This is absolutely one of the scariest things I’ve ever seen,” said Philadelphia Police Commissioner Richard Ross, referring to the 13 shots that hit the officer and his cruiser,” the Associated Press reported. “This guy tried to execute the police officer. The police officer had no idea he was coming.”
The officer, Jesse Hartnett, 33, is a five-year veteran of the force, Fox News reported.
Action News in West Philadelphia reported witnesses and sources said the shooting suspect “was wearing Muslim garb” during the ambush, which took place late Thursday evening.
In a tweet, the ABC affiliate wrote: “UPDATE: Sources: Man who ambushed, shot Philly cop wore Muslim garb.” And Philly.com reported: “The shooter in the attack is seen wearing Muslim garb, a long white robe over dark pants, on surveillance video … but officials have not said if they believe religion was a factor.”
Police haven’t said anything about the possible motive.
Archer, who was shot in the rear end, is recovering under surveillance at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania. Police recovered what they say was his black 9 millimeter pistol near the scene.
The entire incident was captured on nearby security cameras. And it showed the suspect approaching Hartnett, who had pulled up to an intersection in his cruiser, firing off rounds while walking toward the car.
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Hartnett was still able to pull out his service weapon and fire three shots at the suspect, who in turn, fled the scene.
Released 9-11 tapes reveal Hartnett’s panic: “Shots fired, I’m shot,” he yells into his phone. “I’m bleeding heavily.”
Police quickly caught and apprehended the suspect, while Hartnett, who suffered a broken arm, was taken to a nearby hospital for surgery, ABC reported. Ross told news crews Hartnett’s “got a lot of recovery ahead of him” and is suffering nerve damage from his shot arm, which is broken.
“It’s just an absolute ambush,” Ross said, ABC reported. “It’s amazing [Hartnett] was able to survive.”
Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney called Hartnett’s actions astonishing.
“It shows very clearly how brave and sacrificial our police officers are,” Kenney said.
And Philadelphia Police tweeted: “We are grateful for the outpouring of support for our brave officer, Jesse Hartnett. Please keep him in your thoughts & prayers as he recovers.”
The incident comes just after President Obama took to national airwaves to explain his executive actions on gun control.
It didn’t take long for the gun control angle to rear, either.
CBS Philly reported District Attorney Seth Williams as saying, “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.”