Suspect arraigned in police officer shooting; blood drives support wounded cop

Eric Torres
August 15, 2013 4:04:45 PM PDT
Philadelphia Police say Eric Torres, the suspect in the shooting of Philadelphia Police Officer Edward Davies, was arraigned overnight.

Torres now faces several charges, including attempted murder.

Meantime, Philadelphia police held two blood drives Thursday in support of Davies and his family.

Davies, a 25th district officer and 6-year veteran of the force, remains sedated in a medically induced coma. On Wednesday, Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey said that Davies underwent a second surgery and may eventually lose a kidney.

The 41-year-old officer was shot in the abdomen while attempting to apprehend Torres inside a store in the city's Hunting Park section on Tuesday.

Davies' family, including his wife and four children, as well as his police force colleagues, have been keeping a constant vigil for him at Temple University Hospital.

Following his first surgery on Tuesday, Commissioner Ramsey said Davies would require more surgeries and asked for prayers on behalf of the officer and his family.

BLOOD DRIVES SUPPORT OFFICER, FAMILY

Hundreds of officers rolled up their sleeves and literally gave of themselves Thursday to honor Davies.

The first of two blood drives was held Thursday morning at the Red Cross donation center at 7th and Spring Garden Streets.

Among those rolling up their sleeves, Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey.

He said the blood drive was a way for everyone on the force to let Officer Davies and his family feel their support.

"This is a time for us to unify, to come together," said Ramsey. "You really stop to think about it, the men and women of this department bleed for all of us. It's time for us to bleed a little bit for them."

At the second blood drive, held at the Temple University Administrative Services Building in Hunting Park, Davies' fellow officers from the 25th District marched in formation as a show of solidarity.

Davies' commanding officer, Sergeant James Wagner, described him as a model cop.

The blood collected at these drives won't just go to Officer Davies, but will help hundreds of patients throughout the Philadelphia area.

The Eastern Division Commander, Inspector Michael McCarrick, put into words why so many of his officers felt the need to be here.

"They're here in his name, to do what Ed would do, and what he did do. They pay a sacrifice. They're donating their blood to the community," he said.

While Thursday's blood drives were specifically for police volunteers, the public is being encouraged to donate in honor of Officer Davies as well.

The locations and times of blood drives in your area are available at redcross.org.

SUSPECT HOSPITALIZED, CHARGED

The suspect, 31-year-old Eric Torres, was hospitalized following the shooting for treatment of injuries he suffered while scuffling with the officers who arrested him.

He was transported from Albert Einstein Medical Center to police headquarters for questioning and booking Wednesday afternoon and then arraigned overnight.

The heavily guarded van he was riding in drove right past Temple University Hospital.

Torres is facing attempted murder and aggravated assault charges and, most likely, narcotics charges as well.

Investigators searched Torres' home late Tuesday afternoon. Sources say they removed $40-$50,000 worth of heroin from the home that had been packaged and ready for distribution.

They also removed a handgun and impounded the suspect's black Lexus, which was searched Wednesday afternoon.

Officer Davies' colleagues are outraged that the man who shot him is a career criminal.

Commissioner Ramsey said Torres has a police record of 12 prior arrests, including five arrests for assaults on police.

Ramsey revealed that the gun used to shoot Davies is a .45 caliber Glock handgun that was stolen during a burglary in June 2012. A police source tells Action News it was owned by another police officer in the suburbs.

CONFRONTATION BEGAN WITH TRAFFIC STOP

Police say the incident began just before 12:00 p.m. Tuesday when another officer made a vehicle stop at 5th and Allegheny.

Deputy Police Commissioner Richard Ross said the driver gave the officer his identification, but then sped off. The officer radioed a description of the car, which later crashed on 2nd Street.

The police then traced the suspect to the Almonte Mini Market, a corner store at 4th and Annsbury - located just a block and a half away from Torres' home.

Davies arrived first and confronted the suspect. Sources say what happened next was all captured on video surveillance.

They say the suspect ran to the back of the store, and when Davies caught up with him, they say he jammed a revolver under the officer's protective vest and fired one shot.

Other officers were right on his heels and subdued Torres in the store. He was taken into custody.

Davies was rushed to Temple University Hopsital where he immediately underwent surgery.

SHOW OF SUPPORT AT THE HOSPITAL

Mayor Michael Nutter, Ramsey and other members of the force joined the wounded officer's family outside the Temple University Hospital Emergency Room Tuesday afternoon, awaiting updates on his condition.

Davies' wife was there as was his mother. She arrived by police escort shortly after the incident.

Updating reporters with the mayor after 5:00 p.m., Ramsey said Davies "is right now under anesthesia, and, according to the physician, he will be that way for a while. They want to keep him quiet and from moving."

"This is very, very serious," said Ramsey. "Multiple surgeries as a result of his injuries... they are very, very serious."

Earlier, Mayor Nutter called the entire situation another tragic example of the dangers the police face every day.

"This incident plays out the day-to-day danger that our police officers face on a regular basis, gun violence, as well as our citizens," said Nutter.


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