NYPD officers shot dead in Harlem: Officer killed, another injured in shooting while responding to domestic incident

“At just 22 years old, police officer Jason Rivera was murdered in the line of duty,” the NYPD said.

The injured officer was identified by police as Wilbert Mora, 27, and police say he underwent surgery. Asked for an update at a press conference on Saturday, Mayor Eric Adams said Mora was “still fighting for his life.”

“Right now is about prayers. We need New Yorkers to pray for the well-being of this officer who we should all be proud of,” Adams said.

Rivera and Mora are the fourth and fifth New York Police Department officers to be shot in the city this month, officials say. The Friday Night Incident Was the first in which an officer was killed.

The incident unfolded as officers responded to a domestic call at 6:15 p.m. in Harlem, officials said. A woman called 911 and reported she was having a dispute with one of her sons inside her apartment, NYPD Chief of Detectives James Essig said at a news conference on Friday evening at the hospital in Harlem.

Shortly after, three NYPD officers arrived at the apartment and encountered the mother and another son. They both directed two of the officers to a room at the back of the apartment, where his other son – the suspect – was waiting, Essig said.

“The door opens and numerous shots are fired, hitting the two officers – one fatally and one is here in Harlem Hospital in critical condition,” Essig said.

The third officer shot the suspect, identified as Lashawn McNeil, in the arm and head as he tried to escape, police said. McNeil, 47, was in critical condition in hospital, officials said.

Mayor Eric Adams acknowledges New Yorkers don't feel safe on the subway

Previously, a law enforcement source told CNN that a civilian believed to be involved in the incident had died, but that was not the case.

All three officers who responded Friday night were wearing body cameras, a source with knowledge of the investigation told CNN on Saturday. The NYPD collected the videos and is analyzing body camera footage from each officer, the source said.

Investigators are also going through the suspect’s social media accounts as part of the investigation, the source said.

Last year saw the highest number of law enforcement officers intentionally killed in the line of duty since the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.

There were 73 officers who died in felony killings in the line of duty in 2021, according to preliminary year-end data provided to CNN by the FBI. This is the highest total recorded by the agency since 1995, excluding the September 11 attacks.

The FBI reported that 55 officers were fatally shot in 2021 through the end of November, compared to 39 during the same period in 2020 and 2019, according to preliminary data.

The shooting is an attack on the city, says the mayor

Adams, who ordered flags on city buildings to be lowered to half-mast, called Friday night’s shooting an attack not just on officers, but on the entire city, its children and families.

He echoed those comments on Saturday, telling reporters, “This is a battle between killers and New Yorkers, and we’re not going to lose this battle.”

When Adams, a former police captain, was sworn in on Jan. 1, he stressed he wouldn’t let New York become “a city of disorder.” But his tenure was marred by a series of high-profile incidents that shed light on the city’s complex crime challenge.

Although far from the rate of the early 1990s, it has increased in recent months. In November — the most recent month for which the city released data — the crime rate rose 21.3% from the same period last year, according to the NYPD.

During the Democratic primary campaign, public safety became a major issue among candidates, and Adams argued he was uniquely qualified to deal with it, given his more than 20 years of service with the NYPD. .

“The first mission is to fight gun violence in our city,” he said during his inauguration. “We don’t start ushering in the new year by bringing in violence, that’s unacceptable.”

In addition to police shootings, the mayor has faced other violent attacks this month, including a critically injured 11-month-old child who was shot in the face when caught in the crossfire Wednesday in the Bronx, and the death of a 40-year-old woman who was pushed past an oncoming subway train on Jan. 15 at Times Square station.

Police said the subway incident was a random attack. The suspect was charged with second degree murder after surrendering to police less than an hour later.

New York City Mayor Eric Adams, speaking at Harlem Hospital on Friday, called
One of Adams’ key recruits was Police Commissioner Keechant Sewell, who was formerly the chief of detectives for Nassau County on Long Island. On Friday night, she said the tragedy in Harlem was “incomprehensible”.

“Please pray for our officer who is lying in his hospital bed fighting for his life,” Sewell said. “And each day appreciate the bravery and sacrifice of the men and women of the NYPD.”

The weapon used for the shooting was stolen in 2017

The firearm used in the shooting was a Glock 45 with a high-capacity magazine that could hold up to 40 additional rounds, police said.

It was stolen in Baltimore in 2017, and the NYPD said it was working with the Joint Firearms Task Force and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) to further trace the weapon.

Federal authorities investigating the history of the gun and how it came into the suspect’s hands have so far successfully traced where it was originally sold, according to an official. law enforcement with knowledge of the case. The same official said the original arms dealer went to his store at midnight to dig up purchase records after being contacted by the ATF.

The source told CNN that with the extra capacity, the gun could hold 50 to 100 rounds. It remains unclear how many rounds were stored and how many were fired, the official said.

The ATF is seeing an increase in the number of firearms used in a crime in New York that have been traced to an out-of-state purchase that took place less than a year before that crime, according to the official.

“Let’s be clear. There are no gun manufacturers in New York. We don’t make guns here,” Adams said Friday night. “How can we take thousands of guns off the streets and have them still find a way into New York in the hands of people who are killers?”

Adams called for help from the federal government to help solve the problem, saying on Friday: “We need Washington to join us and act now to stop the flow of weapons into New York and cities like New York. .”

The mayor reiterated those comments on Saturday, adding that his administration would begin introducing initiatives next week to “focus on that small number of people who are creating a large number of shootings.”

In the meantime, Adams said officers will continue their efforts “on the ground.” The mayor implores the inhabitants: “Do not give in to violence. The violence will come to us.

Keechant Sewell considered

President Joe Biden tweeted Saturday about the two officers, saying he and the first lady “keep them and their families in our prayers.”

“Officers wear the badge and put themselves in danger every day,” the president said. “We are grateful to them and their families for their extraordinary sacrifice.”

Attorney General Merrick Garland offered his condolences to Sewell and told him the Justice Department and the FBI were ready to help, according to a tweet. The FBI was already in contact with their NYPD counterparts, he added.

“It’s got to stop,” the FBI office in New York said via Twitter on Saturday, referring to the shootings at police officers. “All of our hero officers deserve to come home, always.”

New York Governor Kathy Hochul in a tweet, called gun violence a crisis in the state and pledged to work with Adams and others “to take meaningful action to make New Yorkers safer.”

New York Attorney General Letitia James released a statement in response to the shooting, saying the entire state was in mourning.

“While awaiting the facts, my office can assert jurisdiction in this matter. We pray for the safety of our police and our communities,” James said.

Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg said, “Violence against police cannot be tolerated.

CNN’s Dakin Andone, Brynn Gingras, Ray Sanchez, Shimon Prokupecz, Rob Frehse and Allie Malloy contributed to this report.

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