Man Guilty of Attempted Murder in Ambush Shooting of Officer - NBC New York
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Man Guilty of Attempted Murder in Ambush Shooting of Officer

Hartnett said he still has "quite a long road" to recovery

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Shooter Found Guilty in Attack on Philly Officer Hartnett

    Edward Archer was found guilty on all charges on Thursday in an ambush on a Philadelphia police officer. NBC10's Aundrea Cline-Thomas was in the courtroom.

    (Published Thursday, Feb. 1, 2018)

    More than two years after being arrested for shooting a Philadelphia police officer in the name of the Islamic State terrorist group, Edward Archer has been found guilty of attempted murder and aggravated assault.

    Officer Jesse Hartnett and his family cried as prosecutors presented their closing arguments Thursday.

    Surveillance video played during closing arguments showed Hartnett being ambushed in a hail of gunfire on the streets of West Philadelphia on Jan. 7 2016.

    Last week, Archer told a judge that he wouldn’t "plead to anyone but Allah."

    Pleas of not guilty were later entered at the request of that judge. Archer will be sentenced in May.

    Hartnett said after the verdict he still has "quite a long road" to recovery.

    "I’m trying my absolute best to get back something that was taken away from me and it’s going to be quite a long road," he said outside the courtroom. "I don’t think I’ll ever be 100 percent, but hopefully, someday, I’ll get close to that."

    On Thursday, the jury deliberated for several hours and asked to rewatch portions of Archer's police interrogation video. In it, Archer asked for Hartnett's name and inquired about his condition after the shooting. When detectives told him Hartnett was critically wounded, he said "I care about his condition."

    But in other parts of the tape, Archer can be heard saying that he doesn't like police. 

    "Make no mistake about it, Edward Archer was a man with a plan that night," Assistant District Attorney Jan McDermott said last week, adding that he was "lying in wait" with an illegal handgun, gloves and a scarf around his face.

    McDermott told jurors that Archer rushed toward Hartnett with a handgun drawn as the policeman rolled through a West Philadelphia intersection in his police cruiser.

    Archer fired 13 bullets, three of which shattered bones and damaged nerves in Hartnett's arm. Hartnett, who required multiple surgeries after the shooting, still managed to shoot back at the attacker, striking him once in the buttocks, the prosecutor said.

    Throughout the trial, jurors watched surveillance video that showed a person in an all-white gown unloading a handgun into the driver's side of a squad car. The gunshots, pointed out by a detective who noted the small flashes of light from the muzzle of the firearm, were let off in rapid succession as the person approached closer and closer until their hands appeared to be inside the shattered window of the vehicle.

    "I'm shot! I'm bleeding heavily," Hartnett could be heard shouting over the radio in a frantic call to emergency dispatchers.

    The shooter fled, according to the video, and was followed on foot by a wounded Hartnett. Archer was arrested only a few blocks away, authorities said.