Updated: Jan 24
New York City investigators are seeking to make sense of a Harlem domestic dispute that left police officer Jason Rivera, 22, dead and fellow officer Wilbert Mora, 27, in critical condition. They were shot Friday night while answering a call about an argument between a woman and her adult son. Mayor Eric Adams on CNN Sunday stressed the urgency “to deal with the underlying issues that are impacting crime in our city and has become a stain on the inner cities across our country.” He said his police force would revamp a plainclothes anti-crime unit aimed at getting guns off the streets. The unit was disbanded in 2020 over concerns it accounted for a disproportionate number of shootings and complaints, the Associated Press reports. The shooting is the latest in a string of crimes that have unnerved the nation’s largest city.
In the three weeks since Adams took office, a 19-year-old cashier was shot to death working a late-night shift at a Burger King, a woman was pushed to her death in a subway station, and a baby was critically injured when she was hit by a stray bullet as she sat in a parked car with her mother. Four police officers were shot in as many days last week. The man police say shot the two officers Friday, Lashawn McNeil, 47, was critically wounded. Officials said a woman who made an emergency call said she was ill and that her son who had come to take care of her had become “problematic.” After Rivera and Mora walked from the front of the apartment down a narrow hallway to check on McNeil, he swung open a bedroom door and began shooting. The gun, a .45-caliber Glock with a high-capacity magazine capable of holding up to 40 extra rounds, was stolen in Baltimore in 2017. McNeil had a 2003 drug conviction in New York City. He had several out-of-state arrests. In 1998, he was arrested in South Carolina on suspicion of unlawfully carrying a pistol, but the case was dismissed. In 2002, he was arrested in Pennsylvania on suspicion of assaulting a police officer.