Gunman who shot Philadelphia officer indicted on attempted murder charges

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A still image from surveillance video shows a gunman (L) approaching a Philadelphia Police vehicle in which Officer Jesse Hartnett was shot shortly before midnight Jan. 7, 2016 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania this Philadelphia Police Department image released on Friday. A gunman claiming to have pledged allegiance to Islamic State militants shot and seriously wounded a Philadelphia police officer in an ambush on his patrol car, the city's police commissioner said on Friday.  Photo By Philadelphia Police Department/Handout Via Reuters

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 Islamic State militants shot and seriously wounded a Philadelphia police officer in an ambush on his patrol car, the city’s police commissioner said on Friday. Photo by Philadelphia Police Department/Handout Via Reuters

A Philadelphia police officer who was shot at point-blank range Thursday night by a gunman who said he did it “in the name of Islam” is recovering as federal investigators try to determine whether the suspect in custody has links to the Islamic State.

Edward Archer fired 13 shots at Officer Jessie Harnett, striking the 33-year-old three times in his arm through the window of a patrol vehicle.

Philadelphia Police Officer Jesse Hartnett is shown in this Philadelphia Police Department image released on Jan. 8, 2016. By Philadelphia Police Department/Reuters

Philadelphia Police Officer Jesse Hartnett. By Philadelphia Police Department/Reuters

“He was trying to assassinate this police officer,” said Philadelphia police Commissioner Richard Ross, also noting that the Harnett suffered a broken arm and nerve damage.

Despite his wounds, Harnett returned fire on Archer as he fled the scene, shooting him in his buttock, before other police officers who rushed to the west Philadelphia locale took the suspect into custody.
Archer was arraigned on Saturday on charges including attempted murder and making terrorist threats.

Archer was donning a long-sleeved white tunic when the attack occurred, and later confessed to the crime, allegedly vowing loyalty to ISIS, police said.

“I follow Allah. I pledge my allegiance to the Islamic State, and that’s why I did what I did,” Archer told the authorities after his arrest, police Capt. James Clark said.

The FBI is investigating why Archer, 30, traveled to Saudi Arabia in 2011 and Egypt in 2012, according to the Associated Press.

Edward Archer Photo By Philadelphia Police Department Via Reuters

Edward Archer
Photo By Philadelphia Police Department Via Reuters

Archer’s mother, Valerie Holliday, said on Friday her son has recently been hearing voices and “acting kind of strange,” also telling the Philadelphia Inquirer that he believed he was being targeted by police and had incurred head injuries as a high school football player.

“He’s been getting worse,” she said, adding that he ignored requests by the family to get psychiatric help. “He’s been talking to himself, laughing and mumbling. I never expected him to do anything like this.”

Archer was scheduled to be sentenced next week for forgery and vehicle charges related to a 2014 incident.

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