The man who fired 13 shots at a Philadelphia police officer and claimed he did it for ISIS was charged with attempted murder and other crimes in connection with the shooting as he faced a judge on Saturday. Edward Archer, 30, of Yeadon is facing eight charges including attempted murder, aggravated assault and assault of a law enforcement officer in the shooting of Officer Jesse Hartnett.
Commissioner Richard Ross provided the update during a news conference on Friday afternoon. He said there was no indication from Archer that he was involved in a conspiracy. FBI agents are investigating trips Archer made to the Middle East. Special Agent Eric Rouna said federal authorities are investigating a trip Archer made to Saudi Arabia in 2011 where the suspect spent “a couple” of weeks. Authorities are also seeking more information about the several months Archer spent in Egypt in 2012.
Archer was caught in surveillance video ambushing Officer Jesse Hartnett in his squad car, shooting him multiple times, and claimed he acted “in the name of Islam,” police said at a news conference Friday. Captain James Clark revealed at the news conference that Archer told homicide investigators he “pledges his allegiance to Islamic State, he follows Allah, and that is the reason he was called upon to do this.”
Hartnett, 33, is a 5-year veteran of the force. He suffered extensive injuries to his arm, but authorities said he was awake and alert prior to surgery. The officer’s father, Robert Hartnett, got to the hospital right away. The two were able to speak after the officer woke up following surgery. Hartnett grew up in East Lansdowne with three siblings. He went from the Coast Guard to the police academy. Archer was previously arrested on charges that include aggravated assault and firearms violations. “I knew he was Muslim. I knew that he spent time in Egypt before he came back to the United States. He was in Egypt all through 2012,” said attorney Doug Dolfman.
I don’t think he had anything to do with ISIS or the Islamic state or anything like that,” said Dolfman. “I think this was an impulsive act by somebody who wanted to make a mark for himself.”
Mayor Jim Kenney, who said the incident has nothing to do with Islam, spoke to reporters about Officer Hartnett at a mural painting event at the Al-Aqsa Islamic Society in Kensington. Kenney said his visit, planned before the shooting, is intended to show his support for the Muslim community who he says shouldn’t have to answer for every criminal who invokes Islam. A GoFundMe account has been set up to help Officer Hartnett.