Officials reported one Harlem police officer killed and another gravely injured while responding to a call about a fight between a lady and her adult son, bringing the total number of policemen killed in the city to four in as many days.
just three weeks after taking office, Mayor Eric Adams, a former police captain, and Police Commissioner Keechant Sewell stood before the media at a Harlem hospital denouncing the recent outbreak of violence against the New York Police Department.
“After carrying the lifeless body of the officer into the hospital, a slew of policemen lined the hallway, grieving for their colleague and praying with everything they have for the other,” Sewell added. “I’m at a loss for words to describe the horror we’re witnessing. We’re sad and enraged at the same time.”
According to Adams, “This was not a smear campaign against these great officers. This was a direct direct on New York City.”
Adams called on the federal authorities to do more to track down stolen firearms like the one used in the Harlem apartment shooting.
He stated, “There are no weapons manufacturers in New York City.” “We don’t create guns in this country. How is it that we take thousands of guns off the streets and they still end up in the hands of murderers in New York City?”
The policemen who were shot, along with a another officer, went to the residence on 135th Street after receiving a distress call from a woman who needed assistance with her son, Lashawn McNeil, 47, according to police.
The allegedly spoke with the woman and another of her sons, according to authorities, but no mention of a firearm was made. Then two of them walked down a 9-meter corridor from the entrance of the apartment.
Lashawn McNeil threw open a bedroom door and opened fire on the police, striking them, according to NYPD Chief of Detectives James Essig.
Jason Rivera, a 22-year-old officer who joined the force in November 2020, was slain, while Wilbert Mora, a 27-year-old officer with the NYPD for four years, was wounded in the confrontation.
The third police officer who had stayed with McNeil’s mother at the front of the apartment shot at Lashawn McNeil and wounded him in the head and arm as he tried to flee, according to Essig.
McNeil is alive and in serious condition in a New York City hospital, according to NYPD spokesman Lieutenant John Grimpel, who clarified earlier claims that he had been killed in the encounter. At the hospital press conference, neither Sewell nor Adams attended to any questions from the journalists.
Lashawn McNeil was last seen in Allentown, Pennsylvania, roughly 145 kilometers west of New York City.
McNeil was on probation in New York City for a drug conviction in 2003. He has also been arrested in other states prior to this time.
He was detained in South Carolina in 1998 for illegally carrying a firearm, but the case was eventually dismissed, according to records. He was also arrested in Pennsylvania in 2002 for assaulting a police officer, according to Essig.
The gun used in the shooting is a.45-caliber Glock with a high-capacity magazine capable of carrying up to more than 40 rounds. It was reported stolen in Baltimore in 2017, according to police.
The shooting took place in a street-level apartment in a six-story building on a block between two famous Harlem boulevards, Malcolm X Boulevard and Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Boulevard.
It happened three nights after a cop in the Bronx was shot in the leg during a confrontation with a youngster who also shot himself. A narcotics detective was wounded in the leg on Staten Island on Thursday.
The NYPD has reactivated a plainclothes anti-crime team under Adams, with the goal of removing illegal weapons from the streets.
The squad was disbanded in 2020 due to concerns that it was responsible for an excessive number of shootings and complaints.
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