Warning: This news clip from CBS This Morning shows violent footage that may not be suitable for all viewers.
On Friday, Philadelphia police revealed a chilling incident, during which a man approached a police car and unloaded his gun into the vehicle. Officer Jesse Hartnett sustained three bullet wounds after an unprovoked attacker fired (at least) eleven times before fleeing on foot. A wounded Hartnett managed to chase the man and shoot him in the buttocks. Edward Archer later confessed to police while pledging allegiance to ISIS. In an even more chilling twist, Archer only expressed regret at using a stolen gun. He admitted to nabbing the weapon from another officer’s home in 2013.
During the attack, Officer Hartnett sustained several injuries, including a broken bone, nerve damage in his arm, and “significant” blood loss. Hartnett was patrolling solo when Archer approached while wearing a long white robe, which appeared to be the thobe (or dishdasha) garment favored by Muslim men. Police Captain James Clark told the press how Archer repeated his devotion to Islam and the Islamic State:
Edward Archer, 30, “has confessed to committing this cowardly act in the name of Islam,” Commissioner Ross said at a news conference. “According to him, the police defend laws that he believes are contrary to Islam.”
Capt. James Clark, commander of the Police Department’s homicide division, quoted Mr. Archer as telling investigators: “I follow Allah and I pledge allegiance to the Islamic State. That is the reason why I did what I did.”
Ross also revealed how Archer was “savvy enough to stop short of implicating himself in a conspiracy, if there was one,” so police aren’t sure whether he was acting as part of a larger cell or had self-radicalized. Ross added, “He doesn’t appear to be a stupid individual, just an extremely violent one.”
Archer’s mother, Valerie Holliday, told the New York Times that her son had psychological issues and heard voices, which stemmed from head injuries. Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney insists that people shouldn’t grab onto the Islam connection with this story, for Archer was simply a man with a stolen gun and a previous criminal record: “It has nothing to do with being a Muslim or following the Islamic faith.”