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Live Updates: One N.Y.P.D. Officer Is Dead, a 2nd Critical After Harlem Shooting, Officials Say



Credit…David Dee Delgado for The New York Times

One New York City police officer was killed and another was critically wounded when a gunman opened fire on them inside a Harlem apartment on Friday, the police said. They were the third and fourth officers to be shot in the line of duty this week, according to the police.

The police initially reported that both officers had been 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 gunman, identified by the police as Lashawn McNeil, 47, 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 Lenox Avenue, officials said. He survived but was in critical condition, the police said.

Speaking at a news conference at the hospital, where the two officers had been taken after being shot, Keechant Sewell, the police commissioner, described Officer Rivera as a “22- year-old son, husband, officer and 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 occurred, since May.

“I’m struggling to find the words to express the tragedy we are enduring,” said Ms. Sewell, 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’re mourning, and we’re angry,” she added.

Mr. Adams — who had been in the Bronx earlier attending a vigil for a baby who had been hit in the face by a stray bullet on Wednesday night — also spoke with a raised voice at the news conference.

“This was just not an attack on three brave officers,” he said “This was an attack on the City of New York” 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’s term that has tested his vow to heighten public safety after increases in certain crimes amid the pandemic. Shootings especially have surged in some parts of the city.

Mr. Adams built his campaign around the idea that, as a retired police captain and 22-year Police Department veteran, he alone among the Democratic candidates for mayor had the ability to restore a sense of order to New York’s streets.

The chief of detectives, James W. Essig, gave the following account of the events surrounding the shooting:

Three officers answered a 911 call from a woman who said she was fighting with her son. When the officers arrived at the apartment, they were met by the woman and a second son. There was no indication from the 911 call, officials said, that there were weapons in the apartment.

The woman told the officers that the son she had been fighting 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 swung open, and Mr. McNeil began firing. After shooting the two officers, he tried to leave the apartment and was shot by the third officer.

Mr. McNeil, 47, was on probation after being arrested in New York on a felony drug charge around 2003, officials said. He also had four arrests in other states, all more than a decade ago, on charges including unlawful possession of a weapon in South Carolina in 1998 and the assault of a police officer in Pennsylvania in 2002.

The police said the gun that Mr. McNeil had used was reported stolen in Baltimore in 2017 and was equipped with a high capacity magazine.

The 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 killing of a 19-year-old woman who was shot by a man robbing an East Harlem Burger King and the shooting of the baby girl in the Bronx.

On Tuesday, an officer was shot in the leg as he scuffled 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 during a search for drugs at a Staten Island home, officials said. Neither of their injuries was life-threatening.

The shootings of the officers this week follow one on New Year’s Day in which an off-duty officer was shot in the head while sleeping in a car between shifts outside an East Harlem station house. He was treated at a hospital and released.

Reporting was contributed 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 the police. He survived but was in critical condition. The article also misstated the year in which the gun recovered from Mr. McNeil had been stolen. It was 2017, not 2007.

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