1 NYPD officer killed, 2nd injured, officials say: Live shooting updates
A New York City police officer was killed and another seriously injured when a gunman opened fire on them at a Harlem apartment on Friday, police said. They were the third and fourth officers to be shot in the line of duty this week, police say.
Police initially reported that the two officers were killed, but later said one was in critical condition at Harlem Hospital. The police said the officer who was killed was Jason Rivera, 22, who joined the department in November 2020.
The shooter, identified by police as 47-year-old Lashawn McNeil, was shot in the arm and head by a third officer who was at the scene of the confrontation, an apartment on West 135th Street near of Lenox Avenue, officials said. He survived but was in critical condition, police said.
Speaking at a press conference at the hospital, where the two officers had been taken after being shot, Keechant Sewell, the police commissioner, described Officer Rivera as a “son, husband, officer and 22-year-old friend “who had been” killed because he did what we asked him to do. According to a department profile, he had been assigned to the 32nd Precinct, where the shooting took place, since May.
“I struggle to find the words to express the tragedy we are going through,” Ms Sewell said, her voice rising in anger. Like the man who hired her, Mayor Eric Adams, she only began her job overseeing the largest police force in the United States this month.
“We are in mourning and we are angry,” she added.
Mr Adams – who had traveled to the Bronx earlier to attend a vigil for a baby who was hit in the face by a stray bullet on Wednesday night – also spoke loudly at the press conference.
“It just wasn’t an attack on three brave officers,” he said. “It was an attack on New York City” and “an attack on the children and families of this city.”
The shooting of the officers was the latest in a series of crimes early in Mr Adams’ term that tested his vow to boost public safety after some crime spiked amid the pandemic. Shootings, in particular, have increased in parts of the city.
Mr. Adams built his campaign around the idea that as a retired police captain and a 22-year veteran of the police department, he alone among the Democratic mayoral candidates had the ability to restore order in the streets of New York.
Chief of Detectives James W. Essig gave the following account of the events surrounding the shooting:
Three officers responded to a 911 call from a woman who said she was fighting with her son. When officers arrived at the apartment, they were greeted by the wife and a second son. There was no indication from the 911 call, officials said, that there were weapons in the apartment.
The woman told officers that the son she had fought with was in a back bedroom at the end of a long, narrow hallway. Two of the officers approached the bedroom and as they did, the door opened and Mr. McNeil began shooting. After shooting the two officers, he attempted to leave the apartment and was shot by the third officer.
Tonight we mourn the loss of a hero officer – a son, a husband and a friend. At just 22 years old, police officer Jason Rivera was murdered in the line of duty. We are committed to #Never forget Jason, as a Finest Companion, pledges to honor his tremendous legacy of service and ultimate sacrifice. pic.twitter.com/5zsx45XiM4
— NYPD NEWS (@NYPDnews) January 22, 2022
Mr. McNeil, 47, was on probation after being arrested in New York for drug trafficking around 2003, officials said. He has also been arrested four times in other states, all over a decade ago, for unlawful possession of a weapon in South Carolina in 1998 and assaulting a police officer in Pennsylvania in 2002.
Police said the gun Mr McNeil used was reported stolen in Baltimore in 2017 and was fitted with a high capacity magazine.
The city’s recent spate of violence has included the fatal shoving of a 40-year-old woman into the path of a subway train at Times Square station, the murder of a 19-year-old woman who was shot by a man who stole an East Harlem Burger King and the murder of the little girl in the Bronx.
On Tuesday, an officer was shot in the leg while brawling with a teenage suspect during a confrontation in the Bronx. And early Thursday, a detective was shot in the leg when a man fired through a door while searching a Staten Island home for drugs, officials said. None of their injuries were life threatening.
The shootings of officers this week follow one on New Years Day in which an off-duty officer was shot in the head while sleeping in a car between shifts outside a East Harlem Police Station. He was treated in a hospital and released.
The report was provided by Lola Fadulu, Chelsia Rose Marcius, Troy Closson, Dana Rubinstein, William K. Rashbaum and Ali Watkins.
An earlier version of this article incorrectly reported that Lashawn McNeil, 47, had died after being shot by police. He survived but was in critical condition. The article also misrepresented the year in which the weapon recovered from Mr McNeil was stolen. It was 2017, not 2007.