By David Gambacorta, Jason Nark and Morgan Zalot
Philadelphia Daily News
PHILADELPHIA — Edward Davies is a lucky man.
He's lucky, in the most literal sense of the word, because he was still alive yesterday, a day after a thug blasted the 41-year-old Philadelphia police officer in the abdomen with a .45-caliber Glock.
The bullet tore through an artery, damaged one kidney badly enough that it had to be removed, and exited through Davies' hip, said John McNesby, president of the Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 5.
Davies, a six-year veteran of the force, remained heavily sedated in an intensive-care unit at Temple University Hospital, where he's already undergone two surgeries.
But his luck extends beyond his brush with death.
Like many people, his life is an open book on Facebook, where anyone who peruses his photos can see a guy who's deeply loved, a guy who's blessed with a beautiful family.
A picture posted on Father's Day shows a wide grin stretching across Davies' face. He's flanked by his three daughters, while his 2-year-old son is coiled in his lap.
Another shows him locking lips with his wife, Marissa, on their April 25, 2009, wedding day.
He pokes fun at himself, too, posting photos that show him as a young man — eye-catching mullet and all.
"Ed is a genuinely nice guy. He is the rare officer where you can't find anyone to say anything negative about him," said Detective Sean McCaffery, who used to work with Davies in North Philly's 25th District.
Davies contributed money to be on a Wiffle Ball team composed of 25th District cops who were taking part in an annual tournament that raises money for the son of Officer John Pawlowski, who was gunned down in the line of duty in 2009, McCaffery said.
"He's an all-around family guy. Came to work, never got in any trouble," he said.
McNesby said Davies worked as a union plumber before joining the police force. He's at least the 13th Philadelphia police officer to have been shot in the past five years.
On the quiet, winding Northeast Philly block where Davies and his family reside, neighbors reacted mostly with shock yesterday to the ordeal that left the cop critically injured.
"It's a shame," said Jack Hoffman, 56, who lives across the street from Davies on Kayford Circle near Morrell Avenue. "I'd like to know why the clown who shot him was out on the street."
Eric Torres, 31, allegedly shot Davies during a violent encounter Tuesday afternoon inside the Almonte Mini Market, at 4th and Annsbury streets in Feltonville, shortly after he crashed a 1998 BMW nearby while attempting to flee from a routine traffic stop.
Torres, whose criminal history includes 12 prior arrests — including five charges for assaulting cops — suffered minor injuries while struggling with other officers inside the market.
He was released from Albert Einstein Medical Center yesterday and taken to police headquarters for questioning.
Torres is now being eyed as a potential suspect in the June 18 fatal shooting of a construction worker, according to news reports.
He is expected to face attempted-murder charges in the shooting of Davies. Investigators also found another gun and a significant amount of heroin inside his home at 4th and Raymond streets, about a block away from the Almonte Mini Market, sources said.
Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey and other officials were clearly upset by the fact that Torres, who has pleaded guilty in the past to drug and assault charges, was able to get his hands on the .45-caliber Glock that wreaked havoc on Davies' internal organs.
Ramsey said the weapon had been stolen during a burglary in June 2012. McNesby said yesterday that the firearm had originally belonged to a former Philadelphia officer.
Steve Bartholomew, a spokesman for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives in Philadelphia, confirmed yesterday that the agency was tracing the .45-caliber Glock that Torres allegedly used, but declined to comment further.
The Police Department and the District Attorney's Office both declined to comment about the firearm and its origins.
According to the ATF, 6,268 guns were reported stolen last year in Pennsylvania.
"You have a guy with 12 priors walking the streets with a gun," McNesby said.
"When an officer is shot and the microphones are out, [politicians] all want to sound like heroes and hold hearings," he said. "But what are the results?"
The FOP and the American Red Cross are organizing a blood drive in support of Davies, who required a blood transfusion during an overnight surgery to remove one of his kidneys.
The drive is expected to be held from noon to 5 p.m. today and from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. tomorrow at the Red Cross Donation Center at 7th and Spring Garden streets. More information can be found at redcross.org.
McClatchy-Tribune News Service
Copyright 2013 the Philadelphia Daily News