NYC to honor NYPD officer, killed in Harlem shooting, with funeral service

HARLEM, Manhattan (WABC) -- A city reeling from a recent spate of violence prepared to lay to rest a rookie police officer being hailed as an inspiration to his immigrant community, as investigators sought to make sense of a domestic dispute that left another officer "fighting for his life."Funeral services for New York City Police Officer Jason Rivera were being finalized, as his comrades in blue mourned the loss of the 22-year-old who joined the force to make a difference in what he had described as a "chaotic city."A solemn scene unfolded Sunday with a column of uniformed police officers, as well as a line of firefighters, flanking the streets as a hearse carrying the fallen officer left the medical examiner's office.Burial rites were scheduled for Friday, city officials said, while services were to be held Thursday at St. Patrick's Cathedral.Rivera and Officer Wilbert Mora were shot Friday night while answering a call about an argument between a woman and her adult son. Mora, 27, suffered a serious head wound, police said.The medical examiner ruled Rivera's death a homicide after an autopsy found he died from gunshot wounds to the head and torso.Mora, who has been with the NYPD for four years, remained in life-threatening condition, Adams said Sunday.Police say Mora will be transferred from Harlem Hospital to NYU Langone Medical Center.On Saturday night, Mayor Eric Adams and community leaders gathered outside the 32nd precinct in Harlem for a candlelight vigil for the officers and unleashed an emotional plea to end the gun violence plaguing the city."We are going to unite around this issue and we know -- some would say 95% of the city is good I say 99% of the city is good," Adams said. "Let's weed out that 1%. This is a fight -- violence against New Yorkers, that's the battle we're in right now. We're in a battle with a small number of people that believe they will hold our city hostage with violence. That will not happen."Details about what led to the deadly confrontation were still emerging.Officials said a woman who made an emergency call Friday said she was ill and that her son who had come up to take care of her had become "problematic." Adams said the woman did not specify the problem.Authorities said three officers went to the apartment after the call came in. The officers spoke with the woman and another son, but there was no mention of a weapon, police said.When the officers went to a rear room to talk to the man, shots suddenly rang out, striking them both.Rivera was the first officer in the hallway and was struck first. He fell onto his back. Mora tried to duck into the kitchen during the shooting.The 47-year-old suspect, believed to be the son, was then shot by another officer, a rookie, who stayed with the mother in the front of the apartment. The officer struck the suspect in the neck and shoulder.The suspect was later identified as Lashawn McNeil and was said to be in critical condition.The officers were taken to Harlem Hospital in police cruisers.Rivera, who was described by the NYPD as a son, husband, and friend, died."I am struggling to find the words to express what we are enduring, we're mourning and we're angry," said NYPD Police Commissioner Keechant Sewell. "The pain their families are experiencing is not something anyone can put into words. The three officers who arrived at that scene were doing their jobs."

WATCH | Commissioner Sewell: 'Our department is hurting, our city is hurting'

"It is our city against the killers, this was just not an attack on three brave officers, this was an attack on the city of New York - it is an attack on the children and families of this city," Adams said.Rivera was a rookie and joined the department in 2020 while Mora joined in 2018.Officers had previously responded to the apartment for a domestic violence call in August.McNeil has one prior arrest in New York City for narcotics in 2003 and four arrests outside of NYC, including unlawful possession of a weapon and assaulting a police officer.

WATCH | Witnesses describe deadly police shooting in Harlem

He is believed to have had behavioral problems and posted anti-government and anti-police material on social media.McNeil was staying with his mother to help her take care of her other son who possibly has a learning disability.When McNeil came up from Maryland in November, his mother - knowing of his history with guns - ordered him not to bring guns into the house. She later told police she didn't know he had the weapon.Police said the weapon used to shoot the officers, a Glock 45, was stolen from Baltimore in 2017.A licensed security guard said it was taken by her 13-year-old son, who sold it for money. He was later arrested for the theft, but the gun was never recovered.On Saturday morning, Adams had all flags lowered to half staff out of respect for Rivera.Adams later visited the 32nd precinct, where Rivera was stationed, and where memorial bunting was hung outside.
NYC to honor NYPD officer, killed in Harlem shooting, with funeral service

During an address in Buffalo Saturday, New York Gov. Kathy Hochul echoed a call from Adams for Washington to act on gun violence.President Joe Biden posted on Twitter that he and First Lady, Jill Biden, were 'saddened' to hear about the shooting.

Jill and I are saddened to hear two NYPD officers were shot last night — one fatally. We’re keeping them and their families in our prayers. Officers put on the badge and head into harm’s way every day. We’re grateful to them and their families for their extraordinary sacrifice.

— President Biden (@POTUS) January 22, 2022

The Associated Press contributed to this story


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