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Suspect Arrested after Philadelphia Policeman Shot in Name of IS

  • VOA News

A still image from surveillance video shows a gunman approaching a Philadelphia police vehicle in which Officer Jesse Hartnett was shot shortly before midnight Jan. 7, 2016, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

A still image from surveillance video shows a gunman approaching a Philadelphia police vehicle in which Officer Jesse Hartnett was shot shortly before midnight Jan. 7, 2016, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

A gunman claiming to have pledged allegiance to the Islamic State terror group ambushed a police officer Thursday as he sat in his marked car in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, firing multiple times at the officer.

According to authorities, the officer, who was struck three times in the left arm, managed to fire back and hit the 30-year-old assailant, who ran off but was later apprehended.

The suspected gunman, who is reported to have fired at least 11 shots, has been identified as 30-year-old Edward Archer from Philadelphia. He has a criminal record. There is no indication Archer acted with anyone else in the attack. Local Muslim leaders say there is no indication Archer was an observant Muslim.

Authorities say Archer traveled to Saudi Arabia in 2011 and to Egypt in 2012, and that the purpose for his travels are being investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

The stricken police officer is identified as 33-year-old Jesse Hartnett. He is expected to survive but will require multiple surgeries, police said Friday.

There was no immediate word on Archer's condition, although it is being reported that he was struck in the buttock.

An investigator walks through the scene of a shooting, Jan. 8, 2016, in Philadelphia.

An investigator walks through the scene of a shooting, Jan. 8, 2016, in Philadelphia.

Still-frame pictures broadcast on national television Friday showed the suspect approaching Hartnett's car at an intersection, going directly up to the officer's window, and a short time later running away. Authorities say the weapon the suspect used had been stolen from an officer's home in 2013, but not by the attacker himself.

Police commissioner Richard Ross said the attack was unprovoked and that it is one of the scariest things he has seen.

Ross told reporters he cannot believe that Hartnett — who has been on the force for five years — was able to survive.

In a recording of a radio call requesting backup, Hartnett is heard telling dispatchers, "Shots fired. ... I'm bleeding heavily."

U.S. authorities have been on high alert following Islamic State-linked attacks in recent months in Paris, France, and San Bernardino, California. Authorities say the suspect in the Thursday shooting claimed to have carried out the incident in the name of the Islamic State and that he "follows Allah."

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