1 NYPD officer killed, 1 'fighting for his life' in Harlem shooting

NYPD Officer Jason Rivera
NYPD officer Jason Rivera (L) and Wilbert Mora (R) Photo credit NYPD

NEW YORK (1010 WINS/AP) -- A New York Police Department officer was killed and is currently fighting for his life Friday night after responding to a domestic disturbance call, city officials said.

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The slain officer was identified by the NYPD as 22-year-old Jason Rivera who joined the force in November 2020.

Authorities also identified the wounded officer as 27-year-old Wilbert Mora, a four year veteran of the NYPD. Mayor Eric Adams said Saturday afternoon that he's still fighting at Harlem Hospital, but did not provide more information into any procedures he's undergone.

The man police said fired the shots is 47-year-old Lashawn J. McNeil who was critically wounded and hospitalized, authorities said. Adams said the gun involved in the shooting had been reported stolen in Maryland years ago.

The shots were reported just after 5 p.m. at 119 West 135th St., between Malcolm X and Adam Clayton Powell Jr. boulevards, not far from Harlem Hospital.

NYPD and FBI officers investigate the scene after two NYPD officers were shot in Harlem on January 21, 2022 in New York City
NYPD and FBI officers investigate the scene after two NYPD officers were shot in Harlem on January 21, 2022 in New York City Photo credit Alexi J. Rosenfeld/Getty Images

The official said a call had come in of a mother needing help with her son and three officers responded to the ground floor apartment. The Daily News reported that the dispute between the McNeil and his mother began over a diet plan. McNeil had been taking care of his mother after she underwent heart surgery, The Daily News said. McNeil, a vegan, was arguing with his mother over food options in her home.

Two Officers and Suspect Shot @CitizenApp

119 W 135th St 6:26:49 PM EST

They spoke to the mother in a front room, and then two officers went to a back room where the son was, and shots rang out, the official said.

Police dispatch audio captured some of the chaotic scene, including an officer screaming for assistance and another officer informing the dispatcher that two officers had been shot. One officer asks for “three buses” or ambulances to the scene and police to block off traffic on the route to nearby Harlem Hospital.

President Joe Biden was among elected officials nationwide who offered condolences and prayers for the officers and their families.

"Jill and I are saddened to hear two NYPD officers were shot last night — one fatally," Biden tweeted. "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."

Mayor Eric Adams was at the hospital where the officers were taken after the shooting. The mayor's office announced on Saturday morning that all flags will lowered to half staff in honor of Rivera.

“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 at a Friday night press conference.

Gov. Kathy Hochul also offered prayers, and demanding a stop to the "plague" of gun violence in New York. She touted her administration's efforts to stifle illegal guns from entering New York and said a state of emergency on gun violence was being extended.

"I refuse to allow our cities to be gripped with fear. New​ Yorkers deserve action from their elected officials — and they will get it," Hochul said.

Police officers lock down the scene after two NYPD officers were shot in Harlem on January 21, 2022 in New York City.
Police officers lock down the scene after two NYPD officers were shot in Harlem on January 21, 2022 in New York City. Photo credit Alexi J. Rosenfeld/Getty Images

NYPD Commissioner Keechant Sewell also shared comments about the incident on Friday night via Twitter asking for prayers for Rivera and Mora's families.

The incident marks the third time this week NYPD officers were shot at, and the fifth this month. One Bronx officer was shot in the leg by a teen days ago, but has been released from a hospital.

Another was also shot in the leg on Staten Island while serving a drug-related search warrant. He was expected to survive, but the wound could be “career-ending,” according to officials.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.