Photo courtesy Philadelphia Police Department
A 30-year-old man who fired 11 shots at a Philadelphia cop late Thursday before being shot and arrested says he did it for the Islamic State, police said Friday.
The apparent attempt on the life of a local law enforcement officer bore an eerie resemblance to the successful assassination of two New York City cops in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn, in December 2014. But whereas the gunman in that case was apparently enraged by police killings of people of color, the shooter in Philly is allegedly claiming a more divine form of inspiration, as the New York Times reports:
Capt. James Clark, commander of the Police Department's homicide division, quoted the suspect as telling investigators: "I follow Allah and I pledge allegiance to the Islamic State. That is the reason why I did what I did."
"He just kept on echoing those sentiments," Captain Clark said, "and he wouldn't give us anything more than that."
The suspect, 30-year-old Edward Archer, reportedly used a stolen police handgun and hit Officer Jesse Hartnett three times in the left arm before the officer, who had been sitting in his car, chased him on foot and shot him from behind. Archer has a lengthy rap sheet that includes a gun crime and a domestic incident, though it's not known whether he was in touch with any overseas terrorists.
Officer Hartnett was said to have lost a lot of blood and suffered nerve damage.
"This is absolutely one of the scariest things I've ever seen," Philadelphia Police Commissioner Richard Ross Jr., who took the reins this week, said after watching a video of the shooting. "This guy tried to execute the police officer. The police officer had no idea he was coming. It's amazing he's alive."