Diocesan News

Bishop Robert Brennan Offers Prayers for NYPD Officer Killed in the Line of Duty

UPDATE: The second NYPD officer shot in Harlem last week has died on Jan. 25, according to NYPD Commissioner Keechant Sewell. Police Officer Wilbert Mora was 27 years old.

By Tablet Staff 

PROSPECT HEIGHTS — Bishop Robert Brennan of Brooklyn offered his prayers Saturday morning after one New York City police officer was killed, and another critically wounded, when a gunman opened fire on them inside a Harlem apartment the night before. 

“Our hearts are broken as we pray for the families of 22-year-old NYC Police Officer Jason Rivera, who died in the line of duty last night and gravely injured 27-year-old Officer Wilbert Mora,” Bishop Brennan wrote on social media. “The suffering is incomprehensible. Lord, please comfort them all in the NYPD.” 

[Related: Funeral for Slain NYPD Officer Jason Rivera to be Held at St. Patrick’s Cathedral]

The incident happened around 6:30 p.m. on Friday when Rivera and Mora and a third officer, all from the 32nd precinct, responded to a call from a woman who said she was fighting with her son. 

When they arrived at the apartment they were met by the woman and a second son. The woman then said the son that she was fighting with was in a bedroom at the end of the hall, according to James Essig, the chief of detectives, who gave an account of the events to the New York Times.

As Mora and Rivera approached the room, Lashawn McNeil, 47, opened fire at the officers. McNeil then tried to leave the apartment, but was shot in the arm and head by a third officer, Essig said. McNeil survived the incident, but on Monday, died at a Harlem Hospital.

Rivera joined the department in 2020, and Mora joined the department in 2018.

Keechant Sewell, the police commissioner, described Rivera as a “son, husband, officer and friend” at a news conference at the hospital where the two officers were taken. 

Mayor Eric Adams also spoke at the news conference, saying “this was not just an attack on three brave officers,” but an “attack on the city of New York,” and “an attack on the children and families of this city.” 

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