Harrisburg shooting spree was a ‘terror attack’ – Department of Homeland Security
“Department of Homeland Security can confirm the suspect involved in a terror attack in Harrisburg Pennsylvania” was a beneficiary of “extended family chain migration,” Tyler Q. Houlton, the acting press secretary for the Department of Homeland Security, said in a tweet.
BREAKING: My statement on Immigration Backgrounds of Recent Terror-Related Suspects: pic.twitter.com/I3JfZOfuBh— Tyler Q. Houlton (@SpoxDHS) December 24, 2017
Ahmed Amin El-Mofty fired several shots at a Capitol police officer in downtown Harrisburg on Friday afternoon; one shot “went very close to hitting [the officer],” police earlier reported. Half an hour later, the attacker fired shots at a Pennsylvania State Police trooper. One of the shots hit the trooper. She is expected to make a full recovery.
El-Mofty then opened fire on local officers with two handguns. The officers, none of whom were injured, fired back, killing the attacker.
El-Mofty was “a naturalized US citizen who was admitted to the US from Egypt on a family-based immigrant visa,” Houlton wrote, adding that “the long chain of migration that led to the suspect’s admission into the US was initiated years ago by a distant relative of the suspect.”
Earlier, Dauphin County District Attorney Ed Marsico said there was no doubt that El-Mofty “was directly targeting police officers.”
“This could have been a really tragic incidence with this individual firing many shots at police cars in downtown Harrisburg in the midst of rush hour traffic on a Friday afternoon and then coming up here in a residential neighborhood and firing again many shots,” Marsico said.
Ahmed Soweilam, a relative of El-Mofty, told PennLive.com that the attacker worked as a security guard and had no history of violence or mental illness. He moved back to Egypt but returned a few months ago. “He’s not the perfect guy, but he’s not an aggressive person,” Soweilam said.