Authorities: Harrisburg gunman “depressed,” no known connection to terror groups

HARRISBURG, P.A. --- Authorities are still trying to understand the motive for the several shooting attacks by Ahmed El-Mofty, 51, last Friday.

A little after 4 p.m. Friday, authorities say seven shots were fired from a car in the 100 block of State Street.

Shortly after, they say five shots were fired at the intersection of Third and State Street near the capitol.

Less than ten minutes after the first shots rang out, a capitol police vehicle near the Third and Walnut intersection was hit with at least four bullets.

Dauphin County District Attorney Ed Marisco said a driver going south on Third Street took a picture of El-Mofty's Hyundai Sonata after seeing the shooting.

"Because of that, we had a good description of the car as well as the license plate of the car," said Marisco.

A half hour later, officials say several shots were fired at a Pennsylvania State Trooper, striking her.

Marisco said she was treated and released from a hospital Friday evening, a result he called a "miracle."

"Those shots were fired behind her. In fact, there were two bullet holes in her headrest, as well as the visor of her car," said Marisco.

A little before 5 p.m. Friday, Harrisburg police apprehended El-Mofty at 17th and Mulberry.

After a gun fight, officers eventually shot and killed El-Mofty.

Authorities say in El-Mofty's possession were six magazine, nearly 500 rounds of ammo and two propane cylinders.

"One of these [propane cyclinders] was in a fanny pack that he had around his waist, the other was on the ground near the car," said Marisco.

An investigation into El-Mofty found he received an immigrant visa in 2006 and came to the U.S. from Cairo, Egypt that same year.

Authorities say he became a naturalized citizen in May 2011.

They also add he had trips through Egypt and Jordan over the course of several years before coming back to central Pennsylvania in October of this year.

Marisco said after speaking with family and friends, El-Mofty returned to the U.S. depressed.

"Depressed because lack of contact with his family, lack of money, lack of a good job," said Marisco.

He also said El-Mofty had no previous criminal record to indicate a vengeance towards law enforcement.

He added the two guns used in the attack were purchased, legally, in central Pennsylvania.

On Friday, U.S. Department of Homeland Security acting press secretary, Tyler Houlton, tweeted a statement, labeling the incident as a "terror attack."

Marisco said they are still investigating the motive but haven't come to that conclusion.

"At this point in time, there is no known nexus that he was a member of any terrorist group, that he did this for any known terrorist reason," said Marisco.

Authorities are asking anyone with knowledge or information regarding this incident to call the FBI at 1-800-CALL-FBI (1-800-225-5324) and use option 7.

Marisco said they are hoping to hear from an unidentified woman who assisted the injured state trooper.