At times, Philadelphia Police Officer Jesse Hartnett had to stop and collect his thoughts. More than once, he sighed and wiped away tears while recalling how he had managed to stay alive during an unprovoked attack two years ago this month. The gunman had fired 13 bullets into his patrol car on Jan. 7, 2016, striking him three times.
Still in recovery mode 11 surgeries later, Hartnett appeared fit and walked to the stand on his own power as the first witness to testify Monday to start the second week of the trial of his accused shooter, Edward Archer, 32.
He testified about feeling his left arm go limp and fall like dead weight between the car seat and door after three bullets tore into the limb. He explained that after he managed to open the door with his right hand and get out of the car, he heard a loud splashing sound that turned out to be his blood hitting the street. He said the sound of the bullets hitting his car was “ingrained” in his memory.
Archer sometimes smiled during Hartnett’s testimony. He is charged with attempted murder, assault on a law enforcement officer, and related counts. He has not cooperated with his two court-appointed lawyers and is not expected to testify, Philly.com reports.
After his arrest near the scene of the shooting, Archer allegedly told a detective he was motivated by devotion to Allah and the Islamic State — a claim that drew national attention, although authorities found no proof of a connection to any terror group.