A rookie New York City police officer has been shot and killed and his partner is fighting for his life after responding to a domestic violence call in Harlem.
Jason Rivera, 22, who signed up a little over a year ago, in November 2020, died in the shooting.
His partner Wilbert Mora, who joined the NYPD in 2018, is currently fighting for his life.
Multiple police sources initially said both had died.
The pair were responding to a domestic violence call at around 5:10pm involving a mother and a son on West 135th Street.
The gunman, Lashawn J. McNeil, 47 – who was out on probation at the time – also died. A police source said a third officer at the scene, who is relatively new to the NYPD, shot McNeil after the two officers were struck by gunfire.
The officers’ deaths are the first under Mayor Eric Adams, a former NYPD officer, who was elected in part to combat the city’s surging crime. Adams was on his way to the hospital, his spokesman said.
They are the fourth and fifth officers shot so far this year – by comparison, last year, a total of 10 police officers were shot in the entire state of New York.
The mother called police for help and met them in the front of the apartment at 119 West 135 Street at around 6:30pm.
Police say McNeil was in a back room, and officers went to talk to him and were shot.
One of the officers was struck in the face by gunfire.
Officers had previously responded to the apartment for a domestic violence call in August.
Jason Rivera (left), who joined the NYPD a little over a year ago, was shot and killed on Friday night and his partner Wilbert Mora, who signed up in 2018, was in critical condition
Lashawn J. McNeil, 47, opened fire on the officers, and died in the shooting. He was out on probation at the time
NYPD officers gather at Harlem Hospital after the shooting on Friday night
Members of NYPD are seen inside Harlem Hospital on Friday night
Officers stand on the steps of the hospital awaiting news of their colleague
Police officers are pictured on the scene in Harlem, where two officers were shot and one killed
The officers were responding to a domestic violence call on Friday night
The shooting is the first death of a members of the NYPD since Eric Adams took over as mayor on January 1
A police officer stands guard on the corner of the street in Harlem
Police audio reveals the moment the gunfight broke out, with multiple shots fired.
‘Shots fired,’ one says, and sirens can be heard in the background. ‘Cop shot. We need additional units.’
The dispatcher was then desperately asking nearby units to clear the street, and clear a route for the ambulances.
‘Two officers shot,’ another says. ‘We are bringing NYs to the hospital. Have units to back up.’
The officers were taken to Harlem Hospital.
‘Due to a police incident, avoid the area of West 135 Street between Adam Clayton Powell Jr Blvd and Malcolm X Blvd. in Manhattan,’ the NYPD said.
‘Use an alternate route when traveling nearby and expect a police presence in the surrounding area.’
It was the third incident in less than 72 hours involving NYPD officers getting shot in the line of duty, following an incident in the Bronx late on Tuesday night and another officer shot early Thursday morning on Staten Island.
The officer in the Bronx, Officer Kaseem Pennant, who was shot in the leg while scuffling with a teenage suspect, has already been released from the hospital.
Detective Dominick M. Libretti, shot through the door and hit in the leg while serving a search warrant for drugs in Staten Island, underwent surgery at the hospital, where he was recovering. He was said to be in stable condition, but his injury was serious.
On January 1, Officer Keith Wagenhauser was shot in the head in his patrol car by a stray bullet, while sitting outside a Bronx precinct. He has been released from hospital.
Alvin Bragg, the Manhattan district attorney, who has been accused of being soft on crime for saying he will not prosecute certain crimes, said it was a ‘horrible tragedy’.
‘This is a horrible tragedy and our thoughts and prayers go out to the officers, their families and the entire NYPD,’ he said.
‘The officers who serve and protect us risk their lives every day. Violence against police cannot be tolerated.’
Adams is seen on Wednesday night at the scene of a shooting in the Bronx, where a baby was caught in crossfire and shot in the face
Adams, a former NYPD officer, tweeted that the violence was unacceptable and must stop
Crime is up 35 percent since Eric Adams took over as mayor of New York City
Overall crime is up 35 percent in the Big Apple
Adams, 61, retired from the police force as a captain after 22 years and entered politics in 2006.
His predecessor, Bill de Blasio – a Democrat, like Adams – had a torrid relationship with police, and towards the end of his second term suffered relentless attacks from police unions, who felt he had failed them.
Adams, by contrast, presented himself as being tough on crime while also respecting human rights. He strongly rebuffed calls from progressives to defund the police – de Blasio in July 2020 had cut $1 billion from the NYPD budget, further infuriating officers.
Adams campaigned on the claim that his experience, both as an officer and as someone who was ‘assaulted by police officers,’ has helped him better understand the situation.
However, Adams has also been criticized for saying that some controversial tactics, including ‘stop-and-frisk,’ can help police officers on the job.
‘I became a police officer, I understand crime, and I also understand police abuse,’ he declared after winning the city’s hard-fought Democratic primary in July 2021.
‘And I know how we can turn around not only New York, but America. We’re in a terrible place, and we can turn this country, this city, around.’
Adams said he ran for mayor to ‘turn pain into purpose’ as many feel they have been ‘betrayed’ by leadership.
‘My fellow New Yorkers, that betrayal stops on January 1,’ he said. ‘We are going to make a difference.’
Yet he has had a difficult first three weeks in office.
In the past week alone he has attended a vigil for a 40-year-old Deloitte executive murdered by a homeless man who shoved her into the path of an oncoming subway train, in Times Square, and traveled to the scene of a Bronx shooting, where a baby girl was shot in the face.
He has also been confronted with the killing of a 19-year-old woman who was shot by a robber while working at an East Harlem Burger King.
Adams tweeted that he would not ‘surrender the city’.