[Updated 5 p.m.] Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney said at a news conference Thursday that Islam had nothing to do with the shooting of a 33-year-old police officer in Philadelphia.
“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,” said Kenney, who was sworn into office Monday.
Capt. James Clark of the Philadelphia Police Department told reporters that the suspect, 30-year-old Edward Archer of Delaware County, confessed to the crime, allegedly saying, “I follow Allah. I pledge my allegiance to the Islamic state, and that’s why I did what I did.”
The Philadelphia Inquirer reported that Archer’s mother said “he’s been hearing voices” in his head. Police have not classified the ambush as a terrorist attack, but they said they cannot rule it out until they complete an investigation.
Archer is alleged to have fired 12 shots at officer Jesse Hartnett’s patrol car at about 11:41 p.m. Thursday night. Police said three of the bullets struck Hartnett in the arm. Philadelphia magazine obtained video of the incident at 60th and Spruce streets, which shows Hartnett getting out of his patrol car after being ambushed and chasing the shooter.
Clark said that the 9mm Glock pistol Archer used in the shooting was stolen from a police officer’s home about two years ago, but had passed through other hands before allegedly landing in Archer’s.
Police have obtained search warrants for two homes Archer has lived in over the last year or so: One, at 61st and Pine streets, is a block away from the scene of the shooting; the other is in Yeadon.
Clark said Hartnett, a four-year veteran, was on routine patrol when Archer walked up to the car and began firing at him. Police say Archer continued approaching the car and firing, eventually reaching into the window and then striking Hartnett three times. At that point, Hartnett got out of his patrol car and fired at the suspect. Archer is said to have fled in the direction of 61st and Pine, but was apprehended by officers who responded to Hartnett’s call for assistance.
Police Commissioner Richard Ross decried the “heinous” nature of the crime at the news conference and praised Hartnett for his strength, calling him “a warrior when he had to be.” He called the shooting an “assassination attempt” and said he considered it a miracle that Hartnett was alive.
Officials said Hartnett is in critical but stable condition. Archer, meanwhile, was treated at the University of Pennsylvania for a gunshot wound to the buttocks.
This article has been corrected to reflect the fact that Archer was treated at the University of Pennsylvania for a gunshot wound to the buttocks. Due to an editing error, an earlier version of this article said Hartnett had been.
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