Maddow: Motive Of Philly Cop Shooter Who Pledged ISIS Allegiance 'Murky'

Let's see: a guy in a Muslim tunic, who after being arrested tells police he has pledged allegiance to ISIS, and who has made trips to the Middle East, shoots 11 times at a Philly policeman, wounding him.

What could be the shooter's motive? If you're Rachel Maddow, the answer is "murky" and "unclear." So said Maddow on her MSNBC show last night. 

More specifically, the shooter is told the police: "I follow Allah. I pledge my allegiance to the Islamic State and that's why I did what I did."  Definitely a murky motive there, Rachel.

According to the suspect's mother, he had been hearing voices and the family had encouraged him to seek medical help. Let's give mom credit for at least not saying "my son is a good boy. He'd never do anything like that." But even if he is crazy, that doesn't make his motive any less "murky."

RACHEL MADDOW: A horrible incident last night and some very chilling surveillance video released today out of Philadelphia. It shows a police officer in a squad car being ambushed late last night. As you can see in the footage, the gunman approaches the squad car and then basically fires at point-blank range. He shoots at the officer in that squad car at least 11 times. Somehow it's a miracle that the officer, 33-year Jesse Hartnett, despite being shot at 11 times at that range, that officer was not killed. He was shot three times in the arm, in the left arm but Officer Hartnett actually managed to give chase to the suspect. Got out of his car and chased the suspect. And the suspect was captured shortly after the shooting.

Tonight, the details surrounding the shooter's motive are still a little bit unclear. Police say that he did tell investigators he had pledged allegiance to ISIS which may well turn out to be true. It's also worth noting however that his mother told the Philadelphia Inquirer that her son had been hearing voices recently and the family asked for him to get help. The suspect does have prior convictions on assault and firearms charges. Police are also reportedly looking into trips he made to the Middle East in 2011 and 2012. Again, the motive here is still murky.

 

Mark Finkelstein
Mark Finkelstein
Mark Finkelstein is a contributing editor for NewsBusters.