Law enforcement agencies are investigating a shooting spree that took place outside of the Pennsylvania state Capitol complex in Harrisburg on Friday afternoon.
The attack involved a shooter who has since been identified as a Turkish immigrant. Local reports from PennLive and other local news stations state that the shots were fired from a suspect driving a vehicle, who fired at police in three separate locations.
The shooter has been identified by police as Ahmed Aminamin El-Mofty, a 51-year-old immigrant from Turkey, whom authorities now say had recently taken a trip to the Middle East.
According to the reports, the series of incidents began at 4 p.m. when a number of gunshots were reported in the area of Third Street near the Capitol. In pursuit by the police, the suspect drove toward a nearby neighborhood and fled the city’s downtown before stopping to once again open fire on police.
He was chased to another neighborhood, where he exchanged gunfire with police. He was shot and killed. One police officer sustained minor injuries during the firefight.
Police were unable to approach the shooter’s dead body because they spotted a “device” thought to be possible explosives. A bomb squad was deployed to render it inert.
Authorities have not yet identified a motive behind the shooting spree, but the attack follows several high-profile terror-related incidents centering around Christmas.
Earlier today, the FBI arrested a former U.S. Marine Muslim convert who allegedly planned to carry out a terrorist attack on San Francisco’s popular Pier 39 during Christmas. The FBI states that the man told an FBI informant that “Christmas was the perfect day to commit the attack.”
Last week, a Bangladeshi immigrant named Akayed Ullah detonated an explosive in New York City’s Port Authority bus terminal, injuring himself and several others.
Following today’s shooting spree at Harrisburg, the Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf thanked the police for their decisive action: “I am grateful for the swift reaction to this incident by Capitol Police, Pennsylvania State Police and City of Harrisburg Police. Our officers were directly in harm’s way but they did not hesitate and protected others from harm.”
“This is another reminder of the sacrifice made every day by law enforcement across Pennsylvania, especially for those of us who spend time in our State Capitol,” he added. “On behalf of all Pennsylvanians, Frances and I thank the fine men and women of these departments.”
Photographs by Mark Pynes for PennLive.
PUT MILO ON TV WHERE HE BELONGS
CAN YOU THINK OF A BETTER WAY TO SPEND YOUR MONEY?
MILO’S RAISING MONEY FOR A NEW WEEKLY LATE-NIGHT CHAT SHOW. HELP US MAKE IT A REALITY!