Man who ambushed Philadelphia police officer to spend decades in prison

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Man who ambushed Philly cop to spend decades in prison. Katherine Scott reports during Action News at Noon on May 14, 2018.

The man who ambushed and repeatedly shot a Philadelphia police officer in the name of the Islamic State group learned his fate in court on Monday morning.

Edward Archer was sentenced to 48.5 to 97 years in prison. He was convicted of attempted murder earlier this year.

Archer also was found guilty of aggravated assault and other charges stemming from the January 2016 shooting of Officer Jesse Hartnett in his patrol car.

"I'm absolutely glad it turned out the way it did," Hartnett said after the sentencing hearing. "I obviously would want the maximum penalty and he did receive the maximum penalty. I wish he had more. As long as he doesn't get out of jail, I'll be happy."

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Trial begins for man accused of shooting Philly cop: Vernon Odom reports on Action News at 5 p.m., January 25, 2017

"Mr. Archer is 33 years old. He will be close to 80 when he's even remotely eligible for parole. He deserved to spend the rest of his life in jail and hopefully, that's what will happen," said Asst. District Attorney Jan McDermott.

Hartnett, who returned fire, spent two weeks in a hospital. His arm was broken, and he suffered nerve damage.

When questioned by police, Archer repeatedly pledged his allegiance to the Islamic State and said he acted out of religious inspiration. But authorities have said there is no indication Archer had coordinated the attack with a terrorist organization. He also was never charged with a terrorism-related offense.

Family members sobbed when the sentence was announced.

Defense attorney Trevan Borum explains Archer has become increasingly paranoid, refusing mental health evaluations five separate times.

"I don't think it's surprising at all given the horrific nature of this crime. I think we're all grateful Officer Hartnett survived, and I think if the evidence showed anything it showed that Officer Hartnett is probably the bravest man alive," Borum said.

Archer did not make any formal statements during sentencing and has stopped communicating with his lawyers. His attorney recounted that his family noticed a change in his behavior a year or two before the incident.

"There's a history of schizophrenia that runs in his family, and I think that this case is an example of what can happen when a mentally ill person gets their hands on a gun," Borum said.

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Surveillance images were released of the shooting of a Philadelphia police officer.

During the trial, jurors watched a surveillance video that shows 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, are let off in rapid succession as the person approaches closer and closer until the person's hands appear to be inside the shattered window of the vehicle.
The shooter flees and is followed on foot by a wounded Hartnett, the video shows. Archer was arrested a few blocks away.

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A Philadelphia Police Officer was shot three times in the arm at 60th and Spruce Streets late Thursday night.


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