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NYPD Officer Jason Rivera Fatally Shot, Officer Wilbert Mora Critically Injured Responding To Harlem Domestic Dispute

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- NYPD Officer Wilbert Mora, 27, is fighting for his life and another officer has died after responding to a call for help from a mother concerning her son's behavior.

Officers lined up Friday at Harlem Hospital and many remained late into Saturday morning to pay their respects to fallen officer 22-year-old Jason Rivera and Mora, who was critically injured, CBS2's Kevin Rincon reported.

Mayor Eric Adams directed flags at city buildings to be flown at half staff.

The deadly encounter with the suspect, 47-year-old Lashawn McNeil, a convicted felon, unfolded around 6:30 p.m. Friday on West 135th Street between Lenox Avenue and Adam Clayton Powell Boulevard in Harlem.

PO Rivera Personnel Photo
NYPD Officer Jason Rivera (Credit: NYPD)

McNeil was hospitalized in critical condition after being shot by a third officer on the scene.

"A 22-year-old son, husband, officer, and friend was killed because he did what we asked him to do," NYPD Commissioner Keechant Sewell said at a late-night news conference.

While the police department mourns the loss of Officer Rivera, there's also anger over what happened.

"The three officers who arrived at that scene were doing their job. They came to answer a call for service, what countless officers do every single day," Sewell said.

Police said they got a call about a domestic dispute between McNeil and his mother, a retired corrections officer. Once officers got inside, McNeil opened fire without warning, police said.

PO Mora Personnel Photo
NYPD Officer Wilbert Mora (Credit: NYPD)

"One officer remained with the two family members while two other officers go to the back bedroom," NYPD Chief of Detectives James Essig said. "As our first officers approach the bedroom, the door swings open, numerous shots are fired, striking both officers, one fatally and one in critical condition. As the perpetrator attempts to exit, he is confronted by our third officer who fires two rounds, striking him in the right arm and head."

Neighbors said they could hear what was going on.

"Around 10 to 15 shots, like rapid fire and I thought they were fireworks, and I'm like nobody does fireworks in January," Jordan Sartor said.

"You hear all the sirens, you see all the cars. It's sad, it's sad. It's just sad. We've got enough problems in this world. We don't... this is not it," another neighbor said.

The mayor and Police Benevolent Association President Patrick Lynch visited the 32nd Precinct on Saturday.

Lynch said officers from other parts of the city are covering patrols out of the precinct as police officers from the station house stand vigil at the hospital.

President Joe Biden tweeted Saturday afternoon, "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."

Police said McNeil has an extensive criminal record. Officers recovered a gun at the scene and believe it was purchased illegally in Baltimore.

Mayor Adams said gun violence is an issue that has to be met by everyone. He and Gov. Kathy Hochul said they will do more to try to get illegal guns off the streets.

"It is our city against the killers," Adams said. "We must save this city together. That is what we must do."

"We must urgently confront the plague of gun violence in our state. Too many lives are being lost, and too many New Yorkers are living in fear. This is a crisis," Hochul said in a statement. "I've pledged my full support of Mayor Eric Adams and look forward to working with him and other leaders to continue to take meaningful actions to make New Yorkers safe."

Earlier in the week, Hochul vowed to use state police to stop the flow of guns entering New York City.

Rivera and Mora were the fourth and fifth NYPD officers shot in the line of duty in 2022.

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

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