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Philadelphia Officer Survives Ambush In Vehicle; Police Say Suspect Shot Officer In Islam's Name

PHILADELPHIA (CBSNewYork/AP) -- A police officer in Philadelphia was ambushed and shot by a suspect who said he was acting in the name of Islam, officials said late Friday.

As Walt Hunter of KYW-TV, CBS3 Philadelphia reported, Officer Jesse Hartnett was wounded in the ambush attack at South 60th and Spruce streets in Philadelphia overnight. Police said the suspect opened fire and continued to pump bullets into Hartnett's squad car as the officer drove.

Police said Hartnett was ambushed at point-blank range while inside his cruiser. The suspect fired a total of 13 shots, hitting the officer and his car.

Hartnett was heard over a police radio soon afterward saying: "Shots fired, 6-0 and Spruce! I'm shot! I'm bleeding heavily!"

"He just started firing with one aim, and one aim only, is to kill him," said Philadelphia police Commissioner Richard Ross.

Moving away, the suspect continued to fire as Hartnett -- with three bullets in his now-disabled left arm, jumped from his squad car. Hartnett chased and shot the suspect.

"I can't say enough for his bravery in how he conducted himself," Ross said. "I really, really can't."

The suspect was identified as Edward Archer, who has addresses in Philadelphia and the suburb of Yeadon.

Police said Archer was also pursued by responding officers and was quickly arrested at 60th and Delancey streets. He was taken to Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, where he was treated for a gunshot wound to his buttocks, police said.

Authorities have video of the incident. Ross called it one of the scariest things he's ever seen.

"This guy tried to execute the police officer," he said. "The police officer had no idea he was coming. It's amazing he's alive."

MORE: Full Coverage From CBS Philly

Following hospital treatment, Archer allegedly confessed why he tried to kill Hartnett.

"He stated that he pledges his allegiance to Islamic State, he follows Allah, and that is the reason he was called upon to do this," said Philadelphia police Capt. James Clark.

Ross said Archer told investigators that he believed police defend laws that are contrary to Islam.

Police officials said the gun Archer used was reported stolen from an officer's home in October 2013, but they don't know how many hands it passed through before being used in the Thursday night shooting.

Authorities said Hartnett, a four-year veteran of the force, was in critical but stable condition at Penn Presbyterian Medical Center after being shot three times in the left arm.

Philadelphia Police Officer Jesse Hartnett and suspect Edward Archer
Philadelphia Police Officer Jesse Hartnett (left) and shooting suspect Edward Archer (right) (credit: Philadelphia Police department)

Police said beyond Archer's statement, they are not prepared to say if the gunman had known ties to any terrorist organization or any other suspects.

"In no way, shape or form does anyone in this room believe that Islam, or the teaching of Islam, has anything to do with what you've seen on that screen," said newly-elected Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney. "That is abhorrent. It's just terrible."

Kenney was calling for more gun control Friday.

"There are too many guns, too many guns on our streets and I think our national government needs to do something about that," he said.

Special Agent-in-Charge Bill Sweeney, who heads the Philadelphia FBI office, declined to comment on reporters' questions about whether Archer might have traveled to Cairo back in 2013, or whether he had any incriminating materials in his home.

"We won't confirm that for a variety of reasons," Sweeney said. "One is so we don't let folks that would probably, or may lead down to a path to know what we know."

Meanwhile, the officer's father, Robert Hartnett, knows his son has one more fight ahead.

"It'll be a tough road, but he's a tough guy," he said. "A true Philadelphia police officer."

It has been a little more than a year since two NYPD officers were shot to death while sitting in their cruiser.

Officers Wenjian Liu and Rafael Ramos were shot at point-blank range through their cruiser window on Dec. 20, 2014.

The gunman, Ismaaiyl Brinsley, then killed himself with the same weapon. He had posted on Instagram that he wanted to put "wings on pigs" and referenced Eric Garner, whose police chokehold death led to protests against the NYPD.

In wake of the attack in Philly and another attack on police in Paris on Thursday, the NYPD urged its officers to 'exercise heightened vigilance" in a letter.

(TM and © Copyright 2016 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2016 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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