NEW YORK (CBS New York) – An NYPD officer was fatally shot in Harlem on Friday night.
The officer has been identified as 22-year-old Jason Rivera.
Tonight we mourn the loss of a hero officer – a son, a husband and a friend. At just 22 years old, police officer Jason Rivera was murdered in the line of duty. We are committed to #Never forget Jason, as a Finest Companion, pledges to honor his tremendous legacy of service and ultimate sacrifice. pic.twitter.com/5zsx45XiM4
— NYPD NEWS (@NYPDnews) January 22, 2022
READ MORE: With the tragic shooting of 2 police officers in Harlem, 5 NYPD officers were shot in January
A second officer, Wilbert Mora, 27, was also shot dead and is fighting for his life.
Police say Rivera, Mora and a third officer were sent to an apartment at 119 W. 135th St. around 6:15 p.m. in response to a 911 call from a woman who said she was in conflict with her son. The caller did not mention any injuries or weapons, Chief of Detectives James Essig said.
When officers entered the apartment, they encountered the woman and another son. The woman said the son she had a falling out with, who was identified as Lashawn McNeil, 47, was in the back bedroom.
An officer stayed with the woman and her son as Rivera and Mora walked down a long, narrow hallway to the back bedroom.
According to police, the bedroom door then opened and multiple shots were fired, hitting Rivera and Mora.
McNeil then attempted to leave the apartment, walking down the same hallway where the two officers were shot. He encountered the third officer, who fired two shots, hitting McNeil in the right arm and head.
WATCH: Mayor Adams and police officials provide update –
A neighbor told CBS2’s Ali Bauman that he heard the gunshots.
“About 10 or 15 shots came from behind my building, which is, I won’t say not normal, but that’s the case here in Harlem. It’s deteriorated over the last year or so” , he said. “I thought it was fireworks.”
“About 10-15 shots, like rapid fire. I thought it was fireworks, so I was like, nobody’s doing fireworks in January,” said Harlem resident Jordan Sartor.
“You hear all the sirens. You see all the cars. It’s sad. It’s sad. It’s just sad. We have enough problems in this world, we don’t have any… That’s not it,” one person told CBS2’s Dick Brennan.
The injured officers and McNeil were taken to Harlem Hospital, where Rivera later died.
McNeil underwent surgery in the hospital. His current condition is unknown.
Initial reports suggested that the third officer who shot McNeil was also injured in the incident.
Watch Ali Bauman’s report —
A woman who works at the Harlem hospital told CBS2’s Cory James that she saw the chaos as she left.
“Two of the nurses were running around saying, ‘Step away, step aside, emergency, emergency,'” she said.
Dozens upon dozens of NYPD officers filled the halls of Harlem Hospital for hours supporting a deceased brother and a fighter for his life.
READ MORE: NYPD narcotics detective injured in Staten Island shooting hailed a hero for protecting fellow officers
Mayor Eric Adams said that while only senior police officials are usually present at press conferences, he specifically wanted everyone to be in the same room on Friday night.
The mayor and police commissioner were praying with the families of the officers and asking New York to pray for them.
“They came to respond to a call for service. What countless officers do every day,” said NYPD Commissioner Keechant Sewell.
Watch Chopper 2 above Harlem Hospital —
“It’s our city against the killers. It’s our city against the killers. It just wasn’t an attack on three brave officers. It was an attack on New York City. This is an attack on the children and families of this town. And we’re not going to win this battle by dividing the lines between us. We must save this town together. That’s what we have to do,” Adams said.
He called on Washington to help stop the flow of guns into the city.
“We are going to find these weapons and we are going to find those who carry them and use them. We are committed to ending this violence. My heart goes out to these families going through such a traumatic experience,” Adams said.
“Our department is suffering. Our city is suffering. It beggars belief,” Sewell said.
Meanwhile, police said they recovered a firearm from the scene that was stolen in Baltimore in 2017. It was a .45 caliber pistol with a large capacity magazine.
Below is a photo of the gun used to shoot our officers. pic.twitter.com/TkcMR2tr83
— NYPD NEWS (@NYPDnews) January 22, 2022
McNeil had previously been arrested in New York for a felony narcotics conviction in 2003. He was on probation.
He also had four previous arrests outside of New York on various charges, including assaulting a police officer and possessing weapons.
Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg responded to the incident on Twitter saying, “This is a horrific tragedy and our thoughts and prayers are with the officers, their families and the entire NYPD. The officers who serve and protect us risk their lives every day. Violence against the police cannot be tolerated.
This is a horrific tragedy and our thoughts and prayers are with the officers, their families and the entire NYPD. The officers who serve and protect us risk their lives every day. Violence against the police cannot be tolerated.
— Alvin Bragg (@ManhattanDA) January 22, 2022
New York Attorney General Letitia James released a statement saying, “All of New York State is in mourning tonight. Pending the facts, my office can assert its jurisdiction in this matter. We pray for the safety of our police and our communities. »
Governor Kathy Hochul released the following statement:
“I am horrified by tonight’s tragedy in Harlem. My thoughts are with the family who answered the phone to receive the news they have always dreaded: that their loved one, who had sworn to protect and serve New Yorkers by joining the NYPD, will not be coming home. I pray for the recovery of his partner, the officer who is fighting for his life and for his family. I know that all of New York stands with these officers and their families.
“We must urgently confront the scourge of gun violence in our state. Too many lives are lost and too many New Yorkers live in fear. It’s a crisis. That’s why earlier today, I extended an executive order declaring a state of gun violence emergency. In the executive budget I released earlier this week, I proposed a plan to triple resources for our gun interdiction efforts, so that we stop the flow of illegal guns into our state, and also to triple resources for violence-stopping programs to address the root causes. of violence.
“I refuse to have our cities seized with fear. New Yorkers deserve action from their elected officials – and they will get it. I pledged my full support to Mayor Eric Adams and look forward to working with him and other leaders to continue to take meaningful action to make New Yorkers safer.
Residents of Harlem spoke to CBS2 about gun violence in the city.
“They are starting to get out of hand. I think the approach has to be different. I think they need to be more aggressive,” one person said.
“We’re about to have a baby, too, so it’s only making it worse. You want to be able to walk your child in a stroller and feel safe at night. I do my laundry where the shooting happened. Just a sad night,” another person said.
“I’m sad. I’m a huge fan of the NYPD. I know what a crazy year we’ve had. Black Lives Matter and everyone, you know, speaks out against the cops, but as a black man, military veteran, I love these guys and women and what they do. I always see them and always say thank you, so it’s just sad,” Sartor said.
Including the Friday night incident, four police officers were shot this week, and a total of five police officers were shot this month.
Earlier this week, a Staten Island officer was shot in the leg and another officer was shot in the leg in the Bronx. These two officers should recover.
On New Years Day, an NYPD officer was shot while resting in his car between shifts in East Harlem. Authorities believe he was hit in the head by a stray bullet. This officer was treated and released from hospital.
NO MORE NEWS: NYPD officer released from hospital after being shot in Bronx
CBS2’s Dick Brennan, Ali Bauman and Cory James contributed to this report.