NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) – In the wake of attacks on police officers in Philadelphia and Paris, the NYPD is urging officers to “exercise heightened vigilance.”
Around midnight Thursday night, a man opened fire on a Philadelphia police officer sitting in a patrol car.
The gunman, identified by authorities as Edward Archer, fired 13 shots at point blank range, hitting officer Jesse Hartnett three times. Hartnett managed to return fire, striking Archer three times. Archer was arrested and later told investigators he had pledged allegiance to the Islamic State group and carried out the attack in the name of Islam.
It was miraculous that Hartnett survived, Philadelphia police Commissioner Richard Ross said.
“I think one, he had the grace of God, just first and foremost,” Ross said. “I can’t explain it based on my beliefs in any other way. But he had a will to live.”
Police officials said the gun Archer used was reported stolen from an officer’s home in October 2013, but they don’t know how many hands it passed through before being used in the Thursday night shooting.
Meanwhile in Paris Thursday, a man wearing a fake explosives vest tried to attack officers at a police station with a butcher knife. The assailant was shot to death after he refused orders to back away, police said. A piece of paper found on him offered allegiance to the leader of the Islamic State group and said “his act is linked to the deaths in Syria,” according to officials.
The Paris shooting came exactly a year after two Islamic extremists attacked the offices of Charlie Hebdo magazine, killing 12 people at the satirical newspaper’s office.
As CBS2’s Jessica Schneider reported, the incidents prompted the NYPD brass to implore all its officers to stay alert.
“These two incidents demonstrate the continued threat that members of service face from individuals seeking to target law enforcement personnel for a variety of reasons, including terrorist motivations,” the NYPD said in its message to officers. “The New York City Police Department strongly advises all members of service to exercise a high degree of vigilance and to employ proactive safety measures at all times. In particular, members of service should be aware that individuals plotting to carry out attacks may be armed and may decide to expedite an attack when engaged or confronted by law enforcement personnel.”
Late Friday night, specially-armed Hercules teams were on patrol and ready at Times Square.
It has been a little more than a year since two NYPD officers were shot to death while sitting in their cruiser.
The gunman, Ismaaiyl Brinsley, then killed himself with the same weapon. Before taking a bus to New York from Baltimore, Brinsley had posted on Instagram that he wanted to put “wings on pigs” and referenced Eric Garner, whose police chokehold death led to protests against the NYPD.
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