Federal authorities are investigating after a Pennsylvania man with ties to the Middle East opened fire on police officers in three different locations in the state's capital on Friday afternoon. Dauphin County District Attorney Ed Marsico said it remains under investigation whether the shootings were acts of terror.
One officer was injured in the spate of shootings, but her injuries are considered non-life-threatening, police said.
Police identified the alleged shooter as Ahmed Aminamin El-Mofty, 51, and Marsico said he recently returned from a trip to the Middle East.
The FBI and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) are involved in the investigation.
The first shooting took place at about 4:10 p.m. when El-Mofty allegedly opened fire on a Capitol Police officer in his cruiser, striking the vehicle several times, but missing the officer. The shooting took place just steps from the Pennsylvania state Capitol Building. About a half hour later, the same man is suspected to have opened fire on a female officer who was struck once, but is in good condition at a local hospital, according to Marsico.
Capital Police pursued the suspect to a residential area, who then allegedly opened fire on them with two handguns, Marsico said. The officers fired back, striking and killing the suspect. None of the officers were struck.
Marsico said there was "no doubt" the man was targeting police officers.
Ahmed Aminamin El-Mofty, 51, allegedly shot at police officers in Harrisburg, Pa., three times before being killed on Dec. 22, 2017.Dauphin County District Attorneys Office
Ahmed Aminamin El-Mofty, 51, allegedly shot at police officers in Harrisburg, Pa., three times before being killed on Dec. 22, 2017.
"We are asking the public if they have any information about Mr. El-Mofty to please call 911 and let us know, anyone that has any information about him," Marsico said at a Friday night press conference.
"This could've been a really tragic incident with this individual firing many shots at police cars in downtown Harrisburg in the midst of rush hour traffic on Friday afternoon, and then coming up here in a residential neighborhood and firing again many shots."
When asked about specific ties to terrorism, Marsico said an investigation would reveal that information and cautioned, "We don't want people to run wild with speculation."
"At first it sounded like firecrackers," eyewitness Michael Burton told Harrisburg ABC affiliate WHTM. "Then I heard like a barrage of shots and I assume that's when officers shot back."
"We got to the alley up there and the cop was there, he had his long rifle out. He said, 'Get back.' Then the cop came down, put the tape across."
"You shoot at the cops, you get what you get," Burton said.