The Philadelphia Police Officer Jesse Hartnett remained hospitalized Sunday as doctors worked to repair nerve damage he suffered when a gunman ambushed and shot him Thursday night.
Hartnett, a five-year veteran, was in his patrol car at 60th and Spruce streets when police say Edward Archer, 30, walked up to the car and opened fire on him at point-blank range using a stolen police gun.
Hartnett, wounded three times in the arm, managed to jump out of the car and return fire, striking Archer.
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Investigators later said that after Archer was apprehended, he confessed to shooting the officer "in the name of Islam." Archer was arraigned Saturday on four felonies and four misdemeanor charges, including attempted murder, aggravated assault, assault on a law-enforcement officer, reckless endangerment, illegal gun possession and related offenses.
Local and federal authorities on Sunday continued to delve into Archer's past to determine if he has any true ties to terrorism. Investigators said that so far, it appears that although the suspect pledged allegiance to the Islamic State militant group, they did not find any links to terrorism in his recent trips to Egypt and Saudi Arabia.
Hartnett's ambush shooting shook the Philadelphia Police Department and the city.
"This is absolutely one of the scariest things I've ever seen," Philadelphia Police Commissioner Richard Ross said of surveillance footage that captured Thursday night's near deadly encounter in West Philadelphia. "This could have easily been a police funeral."
During a news conference Friday afternoon, Ross said Archer's weapon was a police firearm stolen from a home in October 2013. The weapon was reported stolen through proper protocol, officials said.
The suspect fired about a dozen times, emptying the 9mm handgun, Ross said.
"I'm bleeding heavily!" Hartnett is heard shouting in chilling police-radio recordings of the shooting.
The 18th District officer was hit three times in the left arm. Archer was struck in the buttocks by Hartnett's return fire as he ran from the scene. He was apprehended a short distance away.
"This guy tried to execute the officer," Ross said. "I don't know how this officer survived."
Hartnett suffered a broken arm and nerve damage, Ross said. He underwent surgery shortly after the shooting. By Friday morning, he was out of surgery, talking and in "good spirits," but he has a long road ahead of him. Ross said the officer’s injuries are considered "very serious" and will require multiple surgeries.
Archer has a criminal record and has addresses in Yeadon, Delaware County and Philadelphia, which were searched by the FBI and Department of Homeland Security Friday. Archer was treated at the hospital and later released into police custody.
Ross said the suspect "confessed to committing this cowardly act in the name of Islam" and pledged allegiance to the Islamic State group.
Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney and other city officials were quick to say Archer's apparent motive does not "represent the religion in any way, shape or form or its teachings."
“This is a criminal with a stolen gun who tried to kill one of our officers,'' he said. “It has nothing to do with being a Muslim or following the Islamic faith.''
Archer has been denied bail and has a preliminary hearing scheduled for Jan. 25.
Hartnett is a graduate of Monsignor Bonner High School in Drexel Hill and a veteran of the U.S. Coast Guard. He previously worked for the East Lansdowne Police Department. A fundraising page created to help with his medical expenses surpassed $11,000 in donations within two days.