Police Officer Edward Davies is awake and responsive Thursday morning after emergency surgery to remove one of his kidneys, according to police sources.
Doctors removed the kidney so they could treat a bleeding artery that was nicked by the bullet when he was shot a Feltonville mini-mart Tuesday. After the surgery, doctors were able to control the bleeding, sources said. He has another operation scheduled for 2 p.m.
Earlier this morning, Eric Torres, 31, who police say shot Davies after a car-stop, was arraigned on charges of attempted murder, assault on a law enforcement officer, aggravated assault, weapons violations theft, receiving stolen property and other charges. He was ordered held without bail.
Torres, who was injured in a struggle with Davies and other police officers, has been released from the hospital, sources said.
Homicide detectives are investigating Torres as a suspect in the June 18 killing of Luis Acevedo on the 2800 block of North Lawrence Street in Fairhill, sources said. He is not cooperating with investigators, sources said.
The car involved in that murder matched a description of a car Torres had driven at the time. Shortly after the killing of Acevedo, 46, police sources said, Torres traded it in for the BMW he crashed Tuesday after fleeing police who stopped him for a broken taillight.
Investigators are pursuing leads that Acevedo may have been killed over stolen drugs, sources said.
On Tuesday night, crime scene investigators recovered a 9mm handgun from Torres' home in Feltonville, along with $40,000 to $50,000 worth of packaged heroin. Police are conducting ballistic tests to determine if that gun matches evidence found at the scene of the Acevedo killing, sources said.
Police also recovered .45 caliber gun in the corner store where Davies was shot. That gun was stolen in a June 2012 burglary of the Northeast Philadelphia home of a retired suburban police officer, Police Commissioner Charles H. Ramsey said at a news conference Thursday.
Tuesday's shooting began when Torres was stopped by police but fled the scene. After crashing his car six blocks away, he ran into the nearby Almonte Mini Market, where he fought with police officers and shot Davies, who had followed him into the store.
A 25th District Officer ran into the market with Davies and wrapped his hands around Torres' gun in an effort to wrestle it away from him and keep him from firing, sources said. The officer was grasping the gun when Torres fired at Davies, sources said. The officer was treated for burns to his hands. After the shot was fired, he continued to struggle with Torres, sources said, preventing him from firing another shot.
Responding officers lifted the wounded officer into a police cruiser and rushed him to Temple University Hospital.
Ramsey said his condition is improving.
"With every day that goes by he's getting better," Ramsey said Thursday.
About 50 officers from the 25th District donated blood for Davies in advance of his surgeries since he was admitted to the hospital, he said.
Officer Joe Walker came with his family to Thursday's blood drive at Temple hospital after a night shift to donate blood.
"God forbid if something happened to Joe," said Walker's wife, Cathie. "I would hope that people would step up."
Davies' supervisor, Sgt. James Wagner, said Davies' police work inspired other officers.
"I would thank him at the end of the [work day], and he would say, 'I'm just making miracles happen,'" Wagner said. "I kind of hope that he can give us one more miracle and pull through this. That would make us happy."
Davies, 41, has worked his entire six-year career in the 25th District. Last year, he received a Commendation of Merit for a 2011 kidnapping arrest.
In that incident, Davies was just beginning an afternoon shift when information over police radio described a kidnapping at Sixth and Indiana. The report said two gunmen had shoved a man into the trunk of a car in a family dispute.
Davies quickly located the car and arrested one of the suspects, while another officer collared the other gunman.
Fellow officers said Davies is well liked and known for his laid-back personality. He is a big Eagles fan and away from the job, enjoys riding his motorcycle, rock music -- especially Kiss -- good cigars and a Budwesier in his backyard, they said.
"He's one of the guys who would smile at you every morning no matter what kind of day he is having," said 25th District Officer Thomas Hayes, who graduated from the Police Academy with Davies. "If you need $20 he's right there."
He a married father of four whose youngest son turned two a week ago today.
Torres, 31, came to the United States from Puerto Rico in 2005 and has been in jail much of the time since. He has a history of drug arrests and was twice charged with assaults on police.
One such case has eerie echoes of the incident that led him to shoot Davies.
In December 2009, 25th District officers suspected Torres of selling drugs on the corner of Third and Indiana. Seeing them, he ran into a corner store. When they approached, he said: "It ain't gonna be that way today," according to police sources.
They say he threw punches at the officers, bodyslammed one, and briefly grabbed an officer's batons.
In a non-jury trial, Torres was found not guilty of the charges.
Contact Theodore Schleifer at 215-854-5607, [email protected], or follow @teddyschleifer on Twitter. Inquirer staff writers Vernon Clark, Sulaiman Abdur-Rahman and Summer Ballentine contributed to this article.
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