Suspect Lashawn McNeil, 47, is accused of shooting NYPD officers Jason Rivera, 22, and Wilbert Mora, 27, in Harlem on Friday. Rivera succumbed to his wounds while Mora was gravely injured and hospitalized.
“Jill and I are saddened to hear two NYPD officers were shot last night — one fatally,” Biden said in a Saturday afternoon tweet. “We’re keeping them and their families in our prayers. Officers put on the badge and head into harm’s way every day. We’re grateful to them and their families for their extraordinary sacrifice.”
McNeil is accused of shooting Rivera and Mora from an apartment bedroom in Harlem after the officers arrived at the location where they were responding to a domestic dispute call.
A third NYPD officer shot McNeil after the suspect opened fire, according to police. He remained in critical condition early Saturday, police said, after correcting an earlier police report claiming he had died at the scene.
Patrick Lynch, president of the Police Benevolent Association of the City of New York, said New Yorkers “will get to know these heroes” in the “coming days” in a Saturday statement.
“What they’ll find is they know them already. They are your sons. They are your husbands, fathers and brothers. They are your neighbors. They walked these city streets beside you. They shared the same dreams and have the same worries you have. That’s why they took the oath and pinned on a New York City police officer’s shield — not because they were different, but because they could see themselves in you,” Lynch said.
Officers “knew that, unfortunately, there is still evil” in New York City — “an evil that many won’t even acknowledge,” Lynch continued.
“They wanted to protect you from that evil. Now one of them has died doing exactly that, and the other is fighting for his life. We respectfully ask you, once again: Please join us to mourn Police Officer Jason Rivera as if he was your own flesh and blood. And please pray for our injured brother, because he is your injured brother, too,” Lynch said.
NYPD described Rivera as “a hero officer — a son, husband, and friend.”
Friday’s shooting came just days after a 16-year-old boy allegedly wounded another officer in the Bronx – and it became apparent later that he had been placed on probation for illegal firearms possession just last month. On Wednesday, a gunman’s stray bullet tore through the face of an 11-month-old girl sitting in the backseat of her mother’s car, also in the Bronx, according to authorities.
Another city cop had been injured earlier this week, and prior to that, an off-duty officer was shot while sleeping in his car on Jan. 1, according to FOX 5 New York.
In all, Friday’s officers were the fourth and fifth shot so far in the first three weeks of 2022.
Fox News’ Stephanie Pagones, Brie Stimson, Michael Ruiz and Rebecca Rosenburg contributed to this report.