The Corner

Law & the Courts

Lone Wolf Terror in Philadelphia? Man Reportedly Tries to Execute Philly Police Officer “In the Name of Islam”

Late last night, a man wearing Muslim clothing tried to execute a Philadelphia police officer. The images are chilling. They show him running up the squad car, firing as he runs:

He reportedly fired thirteen times, striking officer Jesse Hartnett three times in the arm. Incredibly, Hartnett was able to return fire and wounded the suspect. Hartnett has suffered severe injuries to his arm, and faces a “long road to recovery,” but his wounds were thankfully not mortal. The suspect’s condition is not known.

While police have not commented on a motive, sources say that the suspect has confessed to shooting the officer “in the name of Islam.”

As with all such incidents, it’s worth remembering that early reports are often wrong. We’re still waiting for official police comment on the identity and motive of the attacker. For now, however, we can be grateful for the miracle of the cop’s survival and for his courage and presence of mind to immediately fire back. He spared the city a dangerous manhunt and likely further violence. 

It’s worth remembering that if not for the courage of a number of police officers, the terrorist carnage in 2015 would have been much worse. A police officer stopped a potential massacre in Garland, Texas. Officers ultimately stopped a terrorist rampage in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Police stopped a potentially ISIS-inspired stabbing spree at the University of California Merced. And of course but for the firefight with the San Bernardino police, the shooters in America’s worst terror attack since 9/11 likely would have struck again. 

Keep checking the Corner. We’ll post updates as information arrives.

David French — David French is a senior writer for National Review, a senior fellow at the National Review Institute, and a veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom.

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