While not classifying the shooting as a terrorist attack, police said Friday the man arrested after shooting and wounding a police officer in an ambush in West Philadelphia Thursday night confessed he acted "in the name of Islam."
Police Commissioner Richard Ross at the same time revealed the weapon used to wound Officer Jesse Hartnett was a police 9mm semiautomatic pistol stolen in 2013 from an officer's home.
Capt. James Clark, homicide unit commander, said suspect Edward Archer, told detectives: "I follow Allah. I pledge my allegiance to the Islamic state. That is why I did what I did."
"He confessed to committing this act in the name of Islam," Ross said at a news conference Friday afternoon.
He said the suspect told detectives he believed police enforced laws counter to Islam.
Archer's mother has indicated that he is mentally ill and Ross said investigators do not know yet if the suspect was indeed radicalized or tied to terrorism.
"We will see where the investigation leads us," said Ross, adding officers were executing search warrants.
Mayor Kenney stressed whatever the gunman's motive, it had "nothing to do" with Islam.
Jacob Bender, executive director of the Philadelphia chapter of the Council on American Islamic Relations, said more investigation is needed.
"We need more information," Bender said. "Was he in contact with any bona fide terrorist or anything like that? We don't know."
He said Archer's name was not immediately familiar to some of the imams with whom he spoke Friday morning.
Echoing statements by Kenney and other officials, Bender said: "This should not be seen as representative of Muslims or the faith of Islam."
Hartnett was wounded about 11:40 p.m. Thursday when a gunman unloaded a semiautomatic pistol into the officer's marked cruiser at 60th and Spruce Streets, authorities said.
Hartnett, 33, was hit three times in the arm and taken to Penn Presbyterian Hospital, where he was reported in stable condition but faces a long recovery, authorities said.
Archer, 30, of Yeadon, also was wounded by return fire from Harnett and taken into custody after attempting to flee, police said. Officers recovered a black, 9mm semiautomatic pistol, its slide locked to the rear.
The shooter in the attack is seen wearing a long white robe over dark pants on surveillance video, but Ross said he did not know if it was Muslim garb.
The FBI has been notified of the attack, but the agency Philadelphia Police Department remains the lead in the investigation.
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