PHILADELPHIA — Court and police documents show that a Philadelphia police officer whose gun was used to shoot a fellow officer in January had told investigators it disappeared from his home after he had fallen asleep drunk.
The gun used to shoot Jesse Hartnett was the department-issued weapon of Officer Leon Pearson, The Philadelphia Inquirer reported Thursday (http://bit.ly/2bWNXmf ).
Pearson, a 26-year department veteran, told investigators that he was at home when he fell asleep, drunk, and awakened to find his gun missing. Nothing else was taken from the house, he told investigators, and there were no signs of forced entry.
Pearson declined to discuss the reported theft with the Inquirer, but told the newspaper that he had no idea it had been used in Hartnett’s shooting.
“They didn’t tell me about it,” he said.
Police Commissioner Richard Ross would not talk about the firearm, and a police spokesman, Lt. John Stanford, would not reveal the conclusion of an internal police investigation into the reported theft.
Police had previously only said that the weapon, a 9 mm Glock pistol, had been stolen from a Philadelphia police officer’s home in 2013. It was not clear how it made its way to the suspect, Edward Archer, who is charged with attempted murder and other counts.
Authorities say Hartnett’s left arm was shattered in the alleged attack by Archer, who police say claimed to have acted in the name of the Islamic State.
Pearson did not report his gun stolen within 24 hours, as required by department policy. He reported it 48 hours after he said it was taken, the Inquirer reported.
Pearson was disciplined, but Stanford said declined to say how.