Anders Hagstrom, DCNF
An Islamic State-inspired terrorist was convicted of attempted murder Thursday for ambushing a Philadelphia police officer in a hail of gunfire in 2016.
Edward Archer, 32, began his trial two weeks ago by telling a judge he wouldn’t “plead to anyone but Allah,” according to Police One. A jury convicted him Thursday of the attempted murder and aggravated assault of Officer Jesse Hartnett, 36, in 2016, according to NBC Philadelphia.
Prosecutors played harrowing surveillance footage of the attack in their closing arguments, that showed Archer firing 13 rounds into Hartnett’s vehicle after “lying in wait” for the officer.
“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,” Hartnett said outside the courtroom. “I don’t think I’ll ever be 100 percent, but hopefully, someday, I’ll get close to that.”
Hartnett suffered severe nerve damage to his arm and has undergone 11 surgeries since the attack, even getting several metal plates implanted in his elbow. His recovery has been slow.
The surveillance footage showed Archer moved closer and closer to Hartnett’s vehicle, continuously firing, until his hand was nearly inside the police cruiser. He hit Hartnett three times in the left arm, breaking bones and causing severe nerve damage. Prosecutors also aired radio chatter from the night a wounded Hartnett yelled, “I’m shot! I’m bleeding heavily.”
Archer fled the scene with the wounded and bleeding Hartnett in pursuit, who still managed to return fire and hit Archer in the buttocks as he ran. Pictures shown in court revealed the bloodstained windows, doors, and seats of Hartnett’s cruiser, as well as the bloodstained sidewalk he used to follow the shooter.
Prosecutors also showed footage of Archer’s interrogation, where the terrorist repeatedly inquires after Hartnett’s condition, and admits the attack was for the cause of ISIS.
Hartnett and his wife and family were seen crying as the conviction was handed down. Archer’s sentencing hearing is scheduled for May.
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