Officer Jesse Hartnett, 33, survived the ambush, and fired back, injuring the unidentified 30-year-old shooter who used a stolen police weapon in the assassination attempt. The suspect reportedly fired 13 shots at the uniformed officer around 11:40 PM.
At one point, the man was so close that his gun was inside the officer’s vehicle as he fired.
During a Friday news conference, the department released a series of surveillance photos that show the attack. In the images, a man wearing a white robe is seen running across the street with his arms outstretched and pointing a weapon. Subsequent images show him fleeing before being captured by other officers.
“When you look at the video … this is absolutely one of the scariest things I’ve ever seen,” Ross said. “This guy tried to execute the police officer. The police officer had no idea he was coming.”
Richard Ross Jr., the city’s new police commissioner, announced on Friday that the suspect “confessed to committing this cowardly act in the name of Islam,” and that he pledges allegiance to the terrorist group. He also stated that he believes the police enforce laws which are contrary to the Koran, the Washington Post reported.
The city’s new mayor, Jim Kenney, who was sworn into office on Monday, stated at a news conference that the attacker does not represent Islam.
“This is a criminal with a stolen gun who tried to kill one of our officers,” Kenney said. “This has nothing to do with being a Muslim or following the Muslim faith.”
The FBI is joining the local police in the investigation, though the Philadelphia Police Department will still be leading the efforts.
“He certainly was targeting police,” Ross stated. “He wasn’t just targeting a motorist driving down the street…..he was trying to assassinate this police officer.”
Officer Hartnett’s injuries are not believed to be life-threatening. He was hit three times in his left arm, and is currently listed in critical but stable condition. The condition of the shooter has not yet been reported.