New York, NY – Two New York Police Department (NYPD) officers were shot – one fatally – by a man on probation while responding to a domestic incident in Harlem on Friday night.
The incident occurred just after 6:30 p.m. on Jan. 21 when a woman called 911 for help because she was fighting with her son, WABC reported.
Three NYPD officers responded to the apartment on 135th Street.
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 the problem was with the woman’s other son, who was in a rear bedroom at the end of a narrow hallway.
The mother and her 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.
Neither the mother nor her other son mentioned to police that the other son might have a weapon, WABC reported.
McNeil 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 McNeil, NBC News 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 the first officer he shot in order to shoot the second officer, the New York Daily News reported.
He 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.
Chief Essig said police recovered the suspect’s Glock 45 handgun with a 40-round magazine at the scene.
He said detectives had determined the weapon used to shoot the officers was stolen in Baltimore in 2017, NBC News reported.
Both officers were transported to Harlem Hospital.
Officials announced that 22-year-old NYPD Officer Jason Rivera had died from his wounds, CNN reported.
The rookie officer had been a member of the police force for two years.
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.
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
McNeil was also in critical condition following surgery, CNN reported.
Officials have not released the name of the probationary officer who shot McNeil.
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.
I lost my fellow officers in the line of duty. I remember my mother’s fear for her sons when we went to work every day.
Tonight, we lost a 22 year old son, husband and police officer. Another is fighting for his life.
Our hearts go out to their families.
— Mayor Eric Adams (@NYCMayor) January 22, 2022
Newly-sworn-in New York City Mayor Eric Adams, a retired NYPD transit captain, described the tragedy as an attack on everyone, CNN reported.
“It is our city against the killers,” Adams said. “This was just not an attack on three brave officers, this was an attack on the city of New York. And it’s an attack on the children and families of this city.”
The new mayor was sworn into office on Jan. 1, CNN reported.
“Let me be clear, there are no gun manufacturers in New York City,” Adams told reporters. “We don’t make guns here. How are we removing thousands of guns off the street and they still find a way into New York City in the hands of people who are killers?”
Five NYPD officers have been shot so far in 2022, and four of the five were shot in the past week, NBC News reported.