Philadelphia

Philadelphia Police on Alert Following Ambush Attack

Philadelphia Police Captain John McCloskey acknowledged a sense of uneasiness among his fellow officers following an ambush attack that nearly took the life of one of their own.

"We're a little bit nervous now," McCloskey said. "Because we don't know what's going to happen." 

Officer Jesse Hartnett, 33, continues to recover after a caught on cam shooting that Philadelphia Police Commissioner Richard Ross Jr. described as "one of the scariest things" he's ever seen.

Hartnett, who is assigned to the 18th District, was driving his marked vehicle on 60th and Spruce streets Thursday around 11:40 p.m. when Edward Archer, 30, walked up to the car and opened fire, police said.

Archer, who investigators say was carrying a police firearm stolen from a home in 2013, then reached into the driver's side window and continued firing, striking Hartnett three times in the left arm, according to officials.

Archer fired about a dozen times, emptying the 9mm Glock 17 in his hand, police said.

"I'm bleeding heavily!" Hartnett shouted into his police radio when he called for backup.

As Archer fled the scene, Hartnett managed to get out of his vehicle despite his injuries and open fire, police said. Archer was struck in the buttocks and apprehended at 60th and Delancey streets by responding officers.

"This guy tried to execute the officer," Ross Jr. said. "I don't know how this officer survived."

Hartnett suffered a broken arm and nerve damage. He underwent surgery shortly after the shooting and is currently in critical but stable condition at Penn Presbyterian Hospital. The officer will require multiple surgeries and will remain in the hospital possibly through next week.

A Philadelphia police officer was shot multiple times in the arm at point blank range by a man who ambushed him as he sat in his marked police cruiser, authorities said. Matt DeLucia has the latest details.

Archer, who allegedly confessed to shooting Hartnett, "in the name of Islam," was arraigned on four felonies and four misdemeanor charges Saturday afternoon. He is charged with attempted murder, aggravated assault, assault on a law enforcement officer, recklessly endangering another person, possession of an instrument of crime, violation of uniform firearms act and other related offenses.

He was denied bail and his preliminary hearing is scheduled for January 25.

Philadelphia Police
Edward Archer is charged with attempted murder, aggravated assault, assault on a law enforcement officer, recklessly endangering another person, possession of an instrument of crime, violation of uniform firearms act and related offenses.

Philadelphia Police Union President John McNesby told NBC10 officers patrolling in pairs helped calm fears after Thursday's shooting.

"[I told the officers] be careful," McNesby said. "Keep your eyes open." 

McNesby said the attack proved that being a police officer makes you a target.

"It's not because Jesse was white or whether he was black," he said. "It was because he was wearing a uniform and badge and driving a Philadelphia Police car. It's as simple as that."

Neighborhood kids played in a Fallen Heroes basketball tournament in Feltonville Saturday, honoring Lauretha Vaird, the first female Philadelphia Police officer to die in the line of duty. They also celebrated the fact that no one has to plan a funeral for Officer Hartnett.

"Our prayers go out to all the officers out here today," said Rochelle Bilal, president of the Guardian Civic League, which helped organize Saturday's event. "To make sure that they are safe and sound and that they go home at the end of their tour." 

CLICK HERE if you would like to donate funds for Officer Hartnett's recovery.

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