New York, NY – New York Police Department (NYPD) Officer Jason Rivera was fatally shot in the line of duty on Friday night while responding to a domestic dispute between a mother and son in Harlem.
Officer Rivera was killed just after 6:30 p.m. on Jan. 21 when he and two other officers responded to a 911 call from a woman who was fighting with her son in an apartment located on 135th Street, WABC reported.
NYPD Chief of Detectives James Essig said the mother and one of her sons met the officers in the front of the apartment when they arrived, NBC News reported.
They explained that the mother and her other son – later identified as 47-year-old Lashawn McNeil – had had an argument about her diet, the New York Daily News reported.
McNeil was vegan and his mother was not.
He wouldn’t come out of the back bedroom when his mother called him, the New York Daily News reported.
So two officers went down the hallway to talk to him, NBC News reported.
Neither the mother nor her other son mentioned to police that McNeil might have a weapon, WABC reported.
“As our first officer approached the bedroom, the door swings open and numerous shots are fired, striking both officers,” Chief Essig told reporters during a press conference at Harlem Hospital.
McNeil stepped over Officer Rivera in order to shoot the second officer, the New York Daily News reported.
Chief Essig said the third officer, who was a probationary officer with less than a year on the department, returned fire at the suspect and shot the gunman in the head and chest, NBC News reported.
Both wounded heroes were transported to Harlem Hospital.
Shortly after they arrived, officials announced that Officer Rivera had not survived his wounds, CNN reported.
The second wounded officer has been identified as 27- year-old NYPD Officer Wilbert Mora, CNN reported.
Officer Mora was rushed into surgery and remained in critical condition on Saturday, according to police.
Chief Essig said police recovered Glock 45 handgun with a 40-round magazine that McNeil used to shoot the officers at the scene.
He said detectives had determined the weapon used to shoot the officers was stolen in Baltimore in 2017, NBC News reported.
Chief Essig said that McNeil was on probation when he shot the heroes, the New York Daily News reported.
The cop killer had a criminal record that included a gun charge in North Carolina, assault on a police officer in Pennsylvania, and a felony narcotics charge in New York City.
Officer Rivera had been a member of the New York City police force for two years when he was murdered, CNN reported.
He was assigned to the 32nd Precinct, which is located headquartered on the same block where the young hero was gunned down on Jan. 21, WNBC reported.
Additional aerial footage from Harlem where 22-year-old NYPD Officer Jason Rivera was shot and killed Friday evening and Officer Wilbert Moya was critically wounded in the line of duty.
— Freedomnews.tv FNTV (@FreedomNTV) January 22, 2022
Officer Rivera’s body was given a huge escort from the hospital to the medical examiner’s office and hundreds of fellow officers lined the bitterly-cold streets to say goodbye to the fallen hero.
RIP NYPD Police Officer Jason Rivera.
— Tom Kennedy 🇺🇸 (@ThomasPKennedy3) January 22, 2022
WNBC obtained a copy of a letter that Officer Rivera wrote to his commanding officer while he was in the police academy in which he called NYPD “the greatest police force in the world.”
He wrote in the letter that he wanted to be the first police officer in his family and help “better the relationship between the community and police.”
Officer Rivera is survived by his wife and parents, WLNY reported.
22-year-old NYPD officer Jason Rivera — murdered in the line of duty — wrote this letter when he joined the police academy in 2020.
"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." pic.twitter.com/92lEa5w7nB
— Brian Entin (@BrianEntin) January 22, 2022
Tonight, we mourn the loss of a hero officer — a son, husband, and friend. Only 22 years old, Police Officer Jason Rivera was murdered in the line of duty. We vow to #NeverForget Jason as his fellow Finest vow to honor his tremendous legacy of service & the ultimate sacrifice. pic.twitter.com/5zsx45XiM4
— NYPD NEWS (@NYPDnews) January 22, 2022
— Ben Von Klemperer (@BVKImages) January 22, 2022
We send out our heartfelt condolences and prayers to Officer Jason Rivera’s family and to the entire NYPD family.
We stand today as we always do, with the brave men and women in blue who risk and sacrifice so much to protect us. pic.twitter.com/Px8gjvupwg
— New Jersey GOP (@NJGOP) January 22, 2022
Tonight, an NYPD police officer has lost his life — murdered — and another is gravely injured. The pain is incomprehensible for their loved ones, fellow officers, and NYC. Pray for the family of our young officer & for his partner who lies in a hospital bed fighting for his life. pic.twitter.com/qEPlVgHUo8
— Commissioner Sewell (@NYPDPC) January 22, 2022
Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of New York Police Department Officer Jason Rivera, both blood and blue. Thank you for your service.
Officer Rivera, your life mattered.