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Tuesday, April 16, 2024 | Back issues
Courthouse News Service Courthouse News Service

Philadelphia Police Ambush Tied to ISIL

(CN) - The gunman who shot a Philadelphia police officer multiple times on Thursday night had pledged loyalty to the Islamic State, city officials said at a news conference Friday.

Officer Jesse Hartnett, 33, was shot at about 11:40 p.m. on Thursday while driving his police car at the intersection of South 60th and Spruce streets.

The shooting capped off the first day on the job for the city's new police commissioner, Richard Ross Jr.

At a press conference Friday, Ross said the assailant was taken into police custody where he "confessed to committing this cowardly act in the name of Islam," according to an article from the Washington Post.

Ross said Hartnett is in stable condition at Presbyterian Hospital after he was hit three times in his left arm.

The press conference featured surveillance footage of the shooting during which the assailant used a stolen police gun to fire 13 shots at Hartnett, WaPo reported.

In the images, the shooter can be seen wearing a white robe over his clothing as he runs through the crosswalk toward Hartnett's police cruiser, holding a gun in his outstretched arm.

After putting the gun into the car's window, the shooter fled, according to the article.

Ross told reporters that Hartnett managed to get a shot of his own off at the gunman as fled run south on 60th Street where other police officers took him into custody.

Though not yet identified by name, the suspect has been described as a 30­year­old man from Yeadon, Pa., "who also has an address in the city," WaPo reported.

The man reportedly told detectives that he had pledging allegiance to the terrorist group ISIL, short for the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant.

In addition to marking Ross' first day on the job, the shooting comes in the first week of Philadelphia's new mayor, Jim Kenney.

Mayor Kenney reportedly said the shooter did "not represent" Islam.

"This has nothing to do with being a Muslim or following the Muslim faith," he added.

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolfe noted that everyone is thankful that Hartnett is recovering from his injuries.

"This alleged intentional act of violence against an officer seeking to help a fellow citizen is horrifying and has no place in Pennsylvania," Wolfe said in a statement.

The FBI is reportedly assisting the Philadelphia Police Department in the investigation.

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