Man Who ‘Tried to Execute’ Philly Officer Faces Attempted Murder Charge

The suspect pledged allegiance to the Islamic State group, investigators said.

A man who investigators say confessed to shooting a Philadelphia police officer multiple times "in the name of Islam" has been charged with attempted murder.

Edward Archer 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.

Philadelphia Police

Investigators said Archer used a stolen police gun and pledged allegiance to ISIS.

"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."

Philadelphia Police

Ross said 33-year-old Officer Jesse Hartnett was driving in a marked cruiser through the intersection of 60th and Spruce streets when Edward Archer, 30, walked up to the car and opened fire around 11:45 p.m.

While continuing to shoot, the suspect closed in on the police car until he was actually firing from inside the driver's side window with Hartnett behind the wheel, according to Ross.

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.

Philadelphia Police

The suspect fired about a dozen times, emptying the 9 mm handgun in his hand, Ross said.

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

The 18th District officer, who was hit three times in the left arm, was able to jump out of his car and return fire. Archer was struck in the buttocks 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. Friday morning, he was out of surgery, talking and in "good spirits." Ross said the officer’s injuries are considered "very serious" and will require multiple surgeries.

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 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 January 25.

A Philadelphia Police officer is hospitalized after he was shot multiple times during an ambush shooting. NBC10’s Katy Zachry has the latest.

Hartnett is a five-year veteran of the Philadelphia Police force and a graduate of Monsignor Bonner High School in Drexel Hill. He previously worked for the East Lansdowne Police Department. A fundraising page was created to help with his medical expenses.

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