Daniel Giddings warned he would not go back to prison and swore to take down any police officer who got in his way, a top Philadelphia police commander told the Philadelphia Inquirer. “He was going to kill as many cops as he could,” Homicide Capt. James Clark said. “He was just evil.” The 27-year-old convicted felon and fugitive made that promise during a confrontation with police last month, just days after he was released from prison, and that chilling prediction culminated in this week’s murder of officer Patrick McDonald, 30. As the city reeled from the killing of the fourth officer in less than a year, Mayor Michael Nutter vowed investigators would leave no stone unturned in a hunt for anyone who may have harbored Giddings, who wounded another officer, Richard Bowes, 36, before Bowes shot and killed him.
Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey called the rash of assaults on police unprecedented. “I’ve never seen, in such a short period of time, this many officers who died violently, assassinated, on the streets of any city,” said Ramsey, whose career stretches over more than four decades. “These are assassinations.” Police expect to bring charges against a South Carolina man who purchased the murder weapon and several other guns in what appeared to be a straw purchase. One of those guns was used during an earlier robbery in Philadelphia.