NEW YORK - Preparations are underway to lay to rest a 22-year-old NYPD police officer that was killed in a Harlem shooting on Friday night.
Another office wounded in the shooting is still "fighting for his life," according to officials.
Funeral services for New York City Police Officer Jason Rivera were being finalized, as his comrades in blue mourned the loss of the 22-year-old who 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.
Burial rites were scheduled for Friday, city officials said, while services were to be held Thursday at St. Patrick's Cathedral.
Five cops have now been shot in New York City since Jan. 1, 2022.
The wounded officer was identified as 27-year-old Wilbert Mora. He has been an NYPD officer for four years. Police said that Mora suffered a serious head wound in the shooting.
On Sunday afternoon, Mora was transferred from Harlem Hospital to NYU Langone Medical Center.
"He's fighting, he's fighting hard and he's holding on," Mayor Eric Adams said of Mora at a press conference on Saturday.
During the press conference, Adams called for federal authorities to do more to round up stolen guns like the one used in Friday’s shooting inside a Harlem apartment.
"There are no gun manufacturers in New York City," he said. "We don’t make guns here. How are we removing thousands of guns off the street and they still find their way into New York City, in the hands of people who are killers?"
During a Sunday morning appearance on CNN, 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."
He 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 shooting is the latest in a string of crimes that have unnerved the nation's most populous city and the country's largest police force, with 36,000 officers.
HOW IT HAPPENED:
Officials said a woman who made an emergency call shortly after 5 p.m. 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.
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 night’s shooting, a .45-caliber Glock with a high-capacity magazine capable of holding up to 40 extra rounds, had been stolen in Baltimore in 2017.
Adams and Gov. Kathy Hochul both said federal authorities need to do more to round up stolen guns like the one used in the Harlem shooting. Hochul, at an appearance in Buffalo on Saturday, called it a "scourge of illegal guns on our streets."
Alvin Bragg, Manhattan's new district attorney, called the shootings a "horrible tragedy."
"I am deeply sorry for the families," he told Fox News Digital Friday evening. "The officers who serve and protect us risk their lives every day. Violence against police cannot be tolerated and shooters must be held accountable."
President Joe Biden also said on Twitter that he and First Lady Jill Biden were ‘saddened’ to hear about the shooting.
NYC POLICE OFFICERS SHOT
Five NYPD officers have been shot since the beginning of 2022.
A day earlier an NYPD officer was shot during a struggle with a teen in the Bronx.
And an off-duty cop who was sleeping in his car ahead of his next shift was shot in the head on Jan. 1.
Before Friday, the last NYPD officer killed in the line of duty was Anastasios Tsakos, who was struck by a suspected drunken driver in April 2021 while working at the scene of an earlier crash on the Long Island Expressway in Queens.
The last NYPD officer fatally shot in the line of duty, Brian Mulkeen, was accidentally shot by fellow NYPD officers while struggling with an armed man in the Bronx in September 2019.
With the Associated Press.