A convicted felon with a history of assaulting police shot and critically wounded a Philadelphia police officer during a violent struggle inside a Feltonville corner store on Tuesday afternoon.
Officer Edward Davies, 41, a married father of four from the Northeast, remained in critical condition Tuesday night at Temple University Hospital following an emergency surgery. Additional surgeries are expected, authorities said during a news conference at Temple shortly before 6 p.m. Mayor Michael Nutter called Davies’ injuries “life threatening.”
Police sources identified the gunman as Eric Samuel Torres-Solivan, 31, of the 400 block of West Raymond St. in Feltonville. He was arrested at the scene of the shooting and treated at Albert Einstein Medical Center for minor injuries, police said.
A traffic stop involving Torres-Solivan and another police officer precipitated the shooting, which occurred inside Almonte Mini Market at Fourth and West Annsbury streets, police said. Just before noon, 25th district officers stopped Torres-Solivan’s 1998 BMW near Fifth Street and Allegheny Avenue in the city’s Fairhill section. The car had a broken tail light.
The motorist handed his driver’s license to an officer, but then sped away, leaving his ID in the officer’s hands, police said. The officers lost the BMW, but other officers located it a short time later near Bristol Street and Rising Sun Avenue, where the vehicle had been involved in a crash and abandoned.
A witness told police that the driver had exited the car and fled on foot toward the Almonte Mini Market, which is about a half-block from Torres-Solivan’s home. Officers from the 25th district entered the store, where Torres-Solivan tried to go up a staircase but Davies and another officer grabbed him and a violent struggle ensued, police said.
It was “a pretty violent struggle that lasted at least two minutes,” Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey said.
During the melee, Torres-Solivan allegedly pulled a gun and fired one .45-caliber shot that struck Davies in the lower left abdomen, below his protective ballistic vest, police said. The slug exited the officer’s abdomen, according to a police source, who was uncertain of the trajectory. No other police injuries were reported.
Officers from the 25th district took Davies, who is a six-year veteran of the police department, to the emergency room at Temple, while other officers arrested Torres-Solivan inside the store and recovered the alleged shooter’s .45-caliber Glock.
Ramsey said that Torres-Solivan has a dozen prior arrests, including five for assaulting police, most recently in November 2011. The suspect’s gun was reported stolen in a June burglary, Ramsey said.
When asked if police knew Torres-Solivan’s motive for fleeing the traffic stop, Ramsey said, “Well, he’s got a gun and he knew he had a record.”
Torres-Solivan was charged with attempted murder, assault, weapons violations and related offenses. ••
Blood drives for Officer Davies
Police Officers that would like to donate blood to support Officer Davies should go to the Temple Administrative Services Building located at 2450 W. Hunting Park Avenue on Thursday, August 15 between 12-5 p.m. and on Friday, August 16 between 7 a.m. until 5 p.m.
In support of Officer Davies, a blood drive for the GENERAL PUBLIC will be held at two Red Cross locations: 7th & Spring Garden St. and 1401 Rhawn St. For more information please visit www.redcross.org