Man Who Killed Rookie NYPD Cop Dies of His Injuries

Jason Rivera, 22, killed while responding to domestic incident; another officer critically hurt
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 22, 2022 7:00 AM CST
Updated Jan 25, 2022 12:51 AM CST
One NYPD Officer Dead, One Injured in Harlem Shooting
NYPD officer Jason Rivera is seen in this undated photo.   (AP photo)

(Newser) Update: The man who shot and killed an NYPD officer Friday has died. The suspect, Lashawn McNeil, was shot during the incident by one of the three NYPD officers who responded to a domestic violence call in Harlem, and McNeil died of his injuries Monday, the AP reports. The third officer, who was also shot by McNeil, remains in critical condition. Our original story from Saturday follows:

A 22-year-old officer with the NYPD is dead and another critically injured after they responded to a domestic incident Friday evening. Police say around 6:15pm, rookie Jason Rivera, along with fellow cop Wilbert Mora, 27, and a third officer, responded to a call in Harlem regarding a mother who said she was having a dispute with her son, per CBS New York. When they arrived at the apartment, they found the woman and another son, and she told them the son she'd been fighting with, IDed as 47-year-old Lashawn McNeil, was in a back bedroom. Police say the third officer stayed with the woman and her other son, while Rivera and Mora went to find McNeil. When they got to the bedroom, the door swung open and shots rang out, hitting both officers, per police. They say that as McNeil tried to flee, the third officer shot him, hitting him in the arm and head.

All three were taken to a local hospital, where Rivera died. Both Mora and McNeil are said to be in critical condition. McNeil has a string of arrests to his name, including for a felony drug charge in 2003, per the New York Times. Officials say Rivera and Mora are the fourth and fifth NYPD officers to be shot this month, reports CNN. "Tonight, we mourn the loss of a hero officer—a son, husband, and friend," the NYPD tweeted early Saturday. "We vow to #NeverForget Jason as his fellow Finest vow to honor his tremendous legacy of service & the ultimate sacrifice." Keechant Sewell, the department's new police commissioner, spoke at a presser at the hospital where the officers were taken, noting she was "struggling to find the words to express the tragedy we are enduring," per the Times. "We're mourning, and we're angry."

The New York Post profiles Rivera, noting that his experiences growing up in the Inwood section of New York City, where he saw a strained relationship between police and the community, inspired him to join the force. In a November 2020 letter to the commander of the Police Academy, Rivera recalled once seeing his brother get stopped and frisked, and that his "perspective on police and the way they police really bothered me." He wrote in the letter that when he saw the NYPD start to work to change its policies and do better, he knew he wanted to be a part of that. "When I applied to become a police officer, I knew this was the career for me," he noted. "Coming from an immigrant family, I will be the first to say that I am a member of the NYPD, the greatest police force in the world." (Read more NYPD stories.)

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