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Lashawn McNeil, Suspect In Deadly Harlem Police Shooting, Was On Probation, Has 5 Prior Arrests

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- Investigators are learning more about Lashawn McNeil, the man accused of shooting and killing NYPD Officer Jason Rivera and critically injuring Officer Wilbert Mora in Harlem, and his potential motives.

Police said Saturday they haven't spoken to 47-year-old McNeil yet as he recovers from surgery, but they have gathered information from his mother and from his social media.

As CBS2's Thalia Perez reports, investigators are still piecing together what took place moments before the suspect allegedly opened fire, killing Rivera and leaving Mora clinging to life.

"At this moment, it's about prayers. We need New Yorkers to pray for the wellbeing of this officer that we should all be proud of," Mayor Eric Adams said Saturday.

The suspect's mother told police that she recently had a medical procedure and McNeil was in town from Baltimore to help her out, but they got into a dispute that led her to call 911.

"The mother was not really specific. She just stated that she was ill. Her son was coming up to take care of her, and he became problematic," Adams said.

Police say when Rivera, Mora and a third officer arrived at the West 135th Street apartment, McNeil's mother and another son were in the living room while McNeil was in the rear bedroom and not visible.

When Rivera and Mora approached the bedroom, McNeil allegedly opened fire, striking both officers. As McNeil left the bedroom and attempted to exit the apartment, he encountered the third officer, who fired twice, striking McNeil in the right arm and head, police say.

The injured officers and McNeil were taken to Harlem Hospital, where Rivera later died.

McNeil underwent surgery and was last reported to be in critical condition.

Police recovered a gun at the scene and believe it was purchased illegally in Baltimore. Investigators are trying to determine the origin of the high-capacity ammo clip McNeil had.

According to police, McNeil had been arrested five times before the deadly encounter and was on probation after being convicted on a felony drug charge in New York City in 2003.

McNeil was arrested four times outside the city on various charges, including assault on an officer and weapon possession.

Sources tell CBS2 McNeil also has a history of posting anti-police and anti-government messages on social media.

WATCH: Mayor Eric Adams, Bronx Leaders Discuss Gun Violence --

In the wake of the shooting, the mayor again pledged to attack the gun violence crisis in New York City and go after the gun dealers.

"Officers have taken thousands of guns off the streets, but they need help. The help is to stop the flow, and that is what the federal government must do," Adams said.

CBS2's Thalia Perez contributed to this report. Editor's note: This story was first published Jan. 22

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