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Widow of NYPD officer Jason Rivera shot dead in police ambush posts emotional tribute to her husband

A portion of Manhattan stood silent on Sunday afternoon as the body of fallen NYPD officer, 22-year-old Jason Rivera, was transferred from the Medical Examiner’s Office to a funeral home, ahead of a service and burial later this week. 

Police officers, firefighters and EMS members lined the streets from the office on 30th Street in Manhattan and up along First Avenue just after 12:30pm. Hundreds stood in silence before saluting while a hearse transported his body uptown. 

The moving sight came as his grieving widow posted a moving tribute to her husband on Instagram on Sunday. 

‘Fly high my beautiful angel,’ she wrote, together with a picture of Rivera’s locker that she took at the NYPD’s 32nd Precinct in central Harlem. The pair had been married for just over three months. 

‘Yesterday I visited the locker room where you used to FaceTime me at during your meal time or right before you had to go downstairs to the muster room for roll call at 15:00. 

Officers from all parts of the emergency services stood in silence and saluted as the procession made it’s way uptown

Rivera's hearse was taken from the Medical Examiner's Officer to a funeral home in Riverdale

Rivera’s hearse was taken from the Medical Examiner’s Officer to a funeral home in Riverdale 

Officer Rivera's hearse was flanked by police motorbikes that saw him transported from the Medical Examiner's Office

Officer Rivera’s hearse was flanked by police motorbikes that saw him transported from the Medical Examiner’s Office

An ambulance followed the procession directly behind the hearse. The procession took place at lunchtime on Sunday

An ambulance followed the procession directly behind the hearse. The procession took place at lunchtime on Sunday 

A portion of Manhattan stood silent on Sunday afternoon as the body of fallen NYPD officer, 22-year-old Jason Rivera, was transferred from the Medical Examiner’s Office to a funeral home, ahead of a service and burial later this week

A portion of Manhattan stood silent on Sunday afternoon as the body of fallen NYPD officer, 22-year-old Jason Rivera, was transferred from the Medical Examiner’s Office to a funeral home, ahead of a service and burial later this week

Tears are shed for slain NYPD Officer Jason Rivera as a procession was held on January 23, 2022 in New York City

Tears are shed for slain NYPD Officer Jason Rivera as a procession was held on January 23, 2022 in New York City

A procession for the remains of NYPD Officer Jason Rivera makes its way to a funeral home on Sunday

A procession for the remains of NYPD Officer Jason Rivera makes its way to a funeral home on Sunday

Traffic stood still as the procession made its way uptown with an American flag hung in the middle of the street

Traffic stood still as the procession made its way uptown with an American flag hung in the middle of the street

Tears were shed for slain NYPD Officer Jason Rivera as  a procession took place on Sunday for him to be moved to a funeral home

Tears were shed for slain NYPD Officer Jason Rivera as  a procession took place on Sunday for him to be moved to a funeral home

Officers embrace one another following a procession for Officer Rivera on Sunday

Officers embrace one another following a procession for Officer Rivera on Sunday 

The widow of NYPD Officer Jason Rivera, 22, posted an emotional tribute to him online. 'Fly high my beautiful angel,' she wrote, together with a picture of Rivera's locker

The widow of NYPD Officer Jason Rivera, 22, posted an emotional tribute to him online. ‘Fly high my beautiful angel,’ she wrote, together with a picture of Rivera’s locker

Jason Rivera is pictured together with his wife whom he had married last October

Jason Rivera is pictured together with his wife whom he had married last October

The couple were married on October 9, 2021 and had some pictures taken in New Jersey

The couple were married on October 9, 2021 and had some pictures taken in New Jersey

'I love you till the end of time,' Rivera's grieving widow, pictured, wrote

‘I love you till the end of time,’ Rivera’s grieving widow, pictured, wrote 

‘Last night was suppose to be your day 5 & you were RDO [off] for the next three days. We both waited for your RDO’s to spend them together. But now your soul will spend the rest of my days with me, through me, right beside me. 

‘I love you till the end of time,’ Rivera’s grieving widow wrote.

Rivera was shot dead on Friday night during an ambush as he and his partner, Officer Wilbert Mora, were both shot by ambushed by Lashawn McNeil, 47, as they visited a Harlem address to investigate a domestic-violence call.        

Her Instagram profile also includes photos of the newly married couple out in Liberty State Park in Jersey City.  

In one posting, she describes her husband as ‘my soulmate, best friend and lover from now until the end of time.’

Relatives, together with hundreds of NYPD officers and Mayor Eric Adams paid tribute to Rivera as his body was moved to a Manhattan funeral home. 

Officers Rivera and Mora were shot while answering a call about an argument between a woman and her adult son. 

McNeil is said to have ran from a back bedroom of the Harlem apartment and opened fire. 

NYPD Officers Wilbert Mora, 27, left, and Jason Rivera, 22, right. The two officers were shot while answering a call about an argument between a woman and her adult son in the Harlem neighborhood of New York. Rivera was killed while Mora is 'fighting for his life' in hospital

NYPD Officers Wilbert Mora, 27, left, and Jason Rivera, 22, right. The two officers were shot while answering a call about an argument between a woman and her adult son in the Harlem neighborhood of New York. Rivera was killed while Mora is ‘fighting for his life’ in hospital

NYPD police officers salute their fallen comrade Jason Rivera as he is taken into Riverdale Funeral Home in New York

NYPD police officers salute their fallen comrade Jason Rivera as he is taken into Riverdale Funeral Home in New York

Rivera, 22, of the 32nd Precinct was killed in the line of duty. A funeral is planned for Rivera later this week at St. Patrick's Cathedral

Rivera, 22, of the 32nd Precinct was killed in the line of duty. A funeral is planned for Rivera later this week at St. Patrick’s Cathedral

NYPD police officers line Broadway in honor of their fallen comrade Jason Rivera

NYPD police officers line Broadway in honor of their fallen comrade Jason Rivera

Police officers and firefighters from the FDNY can be seen standing on the roadside in tribute

Police officers and firefighters from the FDNY can be seen standing on the roadside in tribute

Members of the emergency services are seen standing on the street outside the 32nd Precinct

Members of the emergency services are seen standing on the street outside the 32nd Precinct

Rivera lost his life while Mora, 27,  is still fighting for his and remains in Harlem Hospital having undergone two surgeries to remove a bullet that had become stuck in his brain.  

Funeral services for Officer Rivera were being finalized, as his comrades in blue mourned his loss. The officer had previously written how he joined the force to make a difference in what he had described as a ‘chaotic city.’

A solemn scene unfolded Sunday with a column of uniformed police officers, as well as a line of firefighters, flanking the streets as a hearse carrying the fallen officer left the medical examiner’s office for a funeral home.

Officers stood behind their police bikes outside the fallen officer's police precinct in Harlem

Officers stood behind their police bikes outside the fallen officer’s police precinct in Harlem 

A cyclist rides past NYPD police officers while they hold attention in honor of their fallen comrade Jason Rivera

A cyclist rides past NYPD police officers while they hold attention in honor of their fallen comrade Jason Rivera

A makeshift memorial is seen outside the NYPD 32nd precinct near the scene of the shooting

A makeshift memorial is seen outside the NYPD 32nd precinct near the scene of the shooting

A man puts a candle at a makeshift memorial outside the NYPD 32nd precinct in Harlem

A man puts a candle at a makeshift memorial outside the NYPD 32nd precinct in Harlem

A man lights a candle at a makeshift memorial outside the NYPD 32nd precinct on Sunday

A man lights a candle at a makeshift memorial outside the NYPD 32nd precinct on Sunday

Tributes poured for police officer Jason Rivera who was killed on the line of duty. Officers from Westchester counties arrive to 32nd precinct and laid flowers in New York

Tributes poured for police officer Jason Rivera who was killed on the line of duty. Officers from Westchester counties arrive to 32nd precinct and laid flowers in New York

A message is seen on board of P. S. 197M in Harlem in New York on Sunday

A message is seen on board of P. S. 197M in Harlem in New York on Sunday

Officers from Westchester counties walk solemnly from 32nd precinct to the Harlem hospital in New York on Sunday

Officers from Westchester counties walk solemnly from 32nd precinct to the Harlem hospital in New York on Sunday

A floral tribute is seen outside the precinct from the Police Benevolent Association

A floral tribute is seen outside the precinct from the Police Benevolent Association

Candles and flowers seen in makeshift memorial outside of 32nd precinct

Candles and flowers seen in makeshift memorial outside of 32nd precinct

Nobody who passed by the 32nd Precinct could fail to notice that something was different to normal

Nobody who passed by the 32nd Precinct could fail to notice that something was different to normal

Burial rites were scheduled for Friday with a service scheduled for Thursday at St. Patrick’s Cathedral. 

Rivera and Officer Wilbert Mora were shot Friday night while answering a call about an argument between a woman and her adult son. Mora, 27, suffered a serious head wound, police said.

The medical examiner ruled Rivera´s death a homicide after an autopsy found he died from gunshot wounds to the head and torso. 

During a Sunday morning appearance on CNN, Mayor Eric Adams 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.’

Adams said his police force would revamp a plainclothes anti-crime unit aimed at getting guns off the streets. The unit had been disbanded in 2020 over concerns it accounted for a disproportionate number of shootings and complaints.

‘The symbol of that soiled coat with red blood is really what we’re talking about here in not only New York City, but across America,’ Adams said.

Flowers and candles fill the sidewalk as people came to pay their respects to the fallen officer

Flowers and candles fill the sidewalk as people came to pay their respects to the fallen officer

A woman lights a candle at a makeshift memorial outside the NYPD 32nd precinct

A woman lights a candle at a makeshift memorial outside the NYPD 32nd precinct

A woman prays at a makeshift memorial in the Harlem neighborhood of New York on Sunday

A woman prays at a makeshift memorial in the Harlem neighborhood of New York on Sunday

Mora, who has been with the NYPD for four years, remained in life-threatening condition, Adams said Sunday. Police said he would be transferred from Harlem Hospital to NYU Langone Medical Center.

‘It just really has impacted our entire city, if not the entire country. And this is coming after having five officers shot, the 11-month baby shot in Brooklyn,’ the mayor said.

The shooting is the latest in a string of crimes that have unnerved the nation’s most populated city and the country’s largest police force, with 36,000 officers.

In the three weeks since Adams took office, a 19-year-old cashier was shot to death as she worked 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 by a stray bullet while in a parked car with her mother. With the Harlem shooting Friday night, four police officers had been shot in as many days.

Details about what led to the deadly confrontation were still emerging.

Wreathes from Westchester police agencies are seen outside the NYPD 32nd precinct

Wreathes from Westchester police agencies are seen outside the NYPD 32nd precinct

Police officers from New York and Westchester march from the NYPD 32nd precinct to Harlem Hospital near the scene of the shooting

Police officers from New York and Westchester march from the NYPD 32nd precinct to Harlem Hospital near the scene of the shooting 

Police officers could be seen marching along the streets in Harlem on Sunday in a shocked community

Police officers could be seen marching along the streets in Harlem on Sunday in a shocked community

People from an interfaith coalition light a candle outside the NYPD 32nd precinct

People from an interfaith coalition light a candle outside the NYPD 32nd precinct

Local Harlem residents gathered in prayer outside the police precinct in Harlem

Local Harlem residents gathered in prayer outside the police precinct in Harlem

Officials said a woman who made an emergency call Friday said she was ill and that her son who had come up to take care of her had become ‘problematic.’ Adams said the woman did not specify the problem.

Authorities said three officers went to the apartment after the call came in. The officers spoke with the woman and another son, but there was no mention of a weapon, police said.

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, police said. 

Both officers were gunned down before they could pull their weapons and defend themselves, police said.

As McNeil tried to flee, a third officer who had stayed with McNeil’s mother in the front of the apartment shot at McNeil and wounded him in the head and arm, NYPD Chief of Detectives James Essig said.

A person prays at a makeshift memorial while people from an interfaith coalition pray outside the NYPD 32nd precinct

A person prays at a makeshift memorial while people from an interfaith coalition pray outside the NYPD 32nd precinct

NYPD officers gather at the 32nd precinct after two officers were shot

NYPD officers gather at the 32nd precinct after two officers were shot

McNeil had a 2003 drug conviction in New York City. He also had several out-of-state arrests. In 1998, he was arrested in South Carolina on suspicion of unlawfully carrying a pistol, but records show the matter was later dismissed. 

In 2002, he was arrested in Pennsylvania on suspicion of assaulting a police officer, Essig said.

McNeil had been married but the couple separated nearly two decades ago, according to Theresa Noa, who is married to his ex-wife’s brother. She said McNeil had four children from that marriage.

Police said the gun used in Friday’s shooting, a .45-caliber Glock pistol with a high-capacity drum magazine capable of holding up to 40 extra rounds, had been stolen in Baltimore in 2017.

On Sunday, New York Governor Kathy Hochul announced that a multistate task force would meet Wednesday to begin work to stanch the flow of illegal guns, which she and Adams blame for gun-related violence.

NYPD Officers could be seen heading into the Harlem Hospital Center on Sunday

NYPD Officers could be seen heading into the Harlem Hospital Center on Sunday

NYPD officers are pictured as they crossed the street at 135th Street in Harlem

NYPD officers are pictured as they crossed the street at 135th Street in Harlem 

Colorful candles and flowers line the sidewalk outside of the police precinct

Colorful candles and flowers line the sidewalk outside of the police precinct

Hundreds of candles could be seen burning brightly outside of the 32nd Precinct

Hundreds of candles could be seen burning brightly outside of the 32nd Precinct

The bikes of NYPD officers can be seen lined up outside the police precinct where Rivera was based

The bikes of NYPD officers can be seen lined up outside the police precinct where Rivera was based

Members of the media gathered outsider the precinct as they waited for news

Members of the media gathered outsider the precinct as they waited for news 

A couple of police officers from NYPD Counterterrorism unit looked despondent

A couple of police officers from NYPD Counterterrorism unit looked despondent 

Many officers could  be seen bowing their heads in prayer at what had occurred

Many officers could  be seen bowing their heads in prayer at what had occurred 

The candles gave a sliver of warmth during a bitterly cold Sunday in Harlem

The candles gave a sliver of warmth during a bitterly cold Sunday in Harlem

Law enforcement officials across various departments could be seen at the Harlem Hospital on Sunday

Law enforcement officials across various departments could be seen at the Harlem Hospital on Sunday

‘Too many lives have been lost because of illegal firearms that should never have been on our streets,’ she said.

More than 50 agencies from nine Northeastern states are taking part, she said.

Hochul cited NYPD data tracing nearly 4,500 illegal guns as coming from out of state, most from southern states that generally have laxer gun laws.

Adams, a former NYPD captain, joined the governor in calling on the federal government to do more to round up stolen guns like the one used in Friday’s shooting.

Rivera joined the force in November 2020.

Growing up in Manhattan´s Inwood neighborhood, he noticed tensions with police, according to a brief essay titled ‘Why I Became a Police Officer.’ 

In that essay, Rivera wrote about how he was bothered by witnessing his brother being stopped and frisked, but his attitudes changed when he also saw how the department was trying to improve relationships with communities.

‘I realized how impactful my role as a police officer would go in this chaotic city,’ he wrote.

Growing up in Manhattan´s Inwood neighborhood, Jason Rivera said he noticed tensions with police, according to a brief essay titled 'Why I Became a Police Officer'

Growing up in Manhattan´s Inwood neighborhood, Jason Rivera said he noticed tensions with police, according to a brief essay titled ‘Why I Became a Police Officer’

Police Officer, Wilbert Mora, 27, who was shot in Harlem on Friday, and is now in critical condition is moved in a police escort from Harlem Hospital to NYU Langone

Police Officer, Wilbert Mora, 27, who was shot in Harlem on Friday, and is now in critical condition is moved in a police escort from Harlem Hospital to NYU Langone

An ambulance carried Officer Mora from Harlem hospital to NYU Langone in the back of an ambulance

An ambulance carried Officer Mora from Harlem hospital to NYU Langone in the back of an ambulance

The ambulance was given a full police escort as it made its way from Harlem back downtown to NYU Langone

The ambulance was given a full police escort as it made its way from Harlem back downtown to NYU Langone

Police motorcycles flanked the delicate operation that saw the office being moved

Police motorcycles flanked the delicate operation that saw the office being moved

Police bikes could be seen leading the way as the journey was made from Harlem to NYU Langone on Manhattan's east side

Police bikes could be seen leading the way as the journey was made from Harlem to NYU Langone on Manhattan’s east side 


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