Second NYPD Officer Dies After Harlem Shooting

Wilbert Mora was 'a hero three times over'
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 25, 2022 4:26 PM CST
NYPD Officer Wounded in Harlem Shooting Dies
A makeshift memorial is seen outside the apartment building of New York City Police Department Officer Wilbert Mora, in the Harlem neighborhood of New York, Monday Jan. 24, 2022.   (AP Photo/Yuki Iwamura)

(Newser) – The death toll from what NYPD officers thought would be a routine domestic disturbance call on Friday has now reached three. After days in critical condition, Officer Wilbert Mora, 27, has died from injuries he received in the Harlem shooting, the New York Times reports. His partner, 22-year-old Officer Jason Rivera, died Friday and gunman Lashawn McNeil, who was shot by a third officer after he opened fire in an apartment hallway, died Monday. "Today, we mourn the loss of Police Officer Wilbert Mora," the NYPD tweeted Tuesday. He "was murdered in the line of duty—fighting until the very end." Mora was taken from Harlem Hospital to NYU Langone Medical Center Sunday so his organs could be donated in accordance with his wishes.

NYPD Commissioner Keechant Sewell described Mora, who joined the force in 2018, as a hero three times over: "For choosing a life of service. For sacrificing his life to protect others. For giving life even in death through organ donation." Irina Zakirova, a professor at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, tells the AP that Mora was an earnest student who cared deeply about his community. "He was so certain about becoming a police officer—a good police officer—and he was looking forward to taking the next step for a police career," she says.

Mora's death makes the Harlem incident the first time since 2014 that two officers have been killed in the line of duty, the Times reports. Mora and the other two officers had been responding to a domestic call about a mother having trouble with her son. Police say McNeil, 47, was shot after he emerged from a bedroom and fired at the officers. "True heroes never die," said Patrick Lynch, president of the Police Benevolent Association union, per the New York Daily News. "Our brother Police Officer Wilbert Mora has left us, but he will live on in the heart of every New York City police officer from this day forward." (Read more NYPD stories.)

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