Inside the shocking criminal history of Lashawn McNeil who shot dead rookie NYPD cop Jason Rivera while on probation

Inside the shocking criminal history of Lashawn McNeil who shot dead rookie NYPD cop Jason Rivera while on probation

A MAN accused of callously shooting an NYPD cop dead and critically injuring a second during a domestic violence call on Friday was on probation and had previously been arrested five times, records show.

Lashawn McNeil, 47, is the man police say fatally gunned down 22-year-old rookie officer Jason Rivera and seriously injured his partner, Wilbert Mora, 27, at an apartment in Harlem yesterday night.

Lashawn McNeil, 47, is the suspect in Friday night's fatal shooting
Lashawn McNeil, 47, is the suspect in Friday night’s fatal shooting
Jason Rivera, 22, died at Harlem Hospital shortly after arriving
Jason Rivera, 22, died at Harlem Hospital shortly after arrivingCredit: AP

Rivera, Mora, and a third officer were sent to a residence at 119 W. 135th Street following a 911 call from a woman who said she was involved in a dispute with her son.

The caller did not mention any weapons or injuries, Chief of Detectives James Essig said in a statement.

When the officers entered the apartment, the woman said the son she’d been arguing with was in the back bedroom.

As Rivera and Mora made their way down a narrow corridor towards the room, McNeil allegedly swung the door open and numerous shots were fired at the two cops.

McNeil reportedly tried to flee the apartment out of the front door but encountered the third officer, who shot him in the head and his right arm.

The two injured officers were taken to Harlem Hospital where Rivera later died. Mora remains in a critical condition as of early Saturday afternoon.

McNeil also remains in a critical condition. He underwent surgery on Friday to be treated for his wounds.

‘KILLER’ ON PROBATION

It has since been revealed that McNeil fired on the cops with an illegal Glock.45 handgun that had been equipped with a high-capacity 40 round magazine. The weapon was reportedly stolen in Baltimore in 2017, according to police.

The 47-year-old was well-known to law enforcement. Police were last called to his home for another domestic violence call back in August 2021.

He hads previously been arrested in New York in 2003 on felony narcotics charges – an offense he was on probation for at the time of Friday’s fatal shooting.

McNeil also has four other prior arrests to his name in two other states.

In 1998, he was arrested in South Carolina for the unlawful possession of a weapon.

Four years later in Allentown, Pennsylvania, he was detained for assaulting a police officer.

Then in 2003, he was arrested two more times in the Keystone State; once for a felony narcotics charge, and another time for a misdemeanor narcotics charge.

Rivera and Mora are the fourth and fifth officers to be shot in the Big Apple while on duty already this year. By comparison, a total of 10 officers were shot in action across the whole of New York state in 2021.

MAYOR DEMANDS END TO BLOODSHED

In a defiant press conference outside of Harlem Hospital on Friday, New York City’s recently inaugurated new mayor, former cop Eric Adams, demanded the violence stop.

“It is our city against the killers,” Adams declared. “This is not just an attack on three brave officers. This was an attack on the city of New York.

“We must save this city together. That is what we must do. The unification of fighting this battle goes beyond rhetoric.

“It’s time for us to save our city,” he urged.

Tapes of police radio calls captured cops desperately calling for an ambulance or any other kind of transport to whisk the injured officers away from the scene on Friday night.

One clip documented the moment the gunfire first broke out, with an officer shouting “shots fired … cop shot. We need additional units” as sirens can be heard whaling in the background.

“Two officers shot,” another says. “We are bringing NYs to the hospital. Have units to back up.”

Rivera’s death was confirmed by the NYPD in a statement posted to social media just after midnight.

The post read: “Tonight, we mourn the loss of a hero officer — a son, husband, and friend.

“Only 22 years old, Police Officer Jason Rivera was murdered in the line of duty.

“We vow to #NeverForget Jason as his fellow Finest vow to honor his tremendous legacy of service & the ultimate sacrifice.”

HERO COP WANTED TO ‘BRING CHANGE’

Rivera, who worked for the 32nd Precinct, previously wrote in a letter obtained by The NY Post that he joined the NYPD to “better the relationship between the community and the police.”

Growing up in Inwood during the controversial stop and frisk era, Rivera said he wanted to help bring about positive change and help heal his community’s fractured relations with law enforcement by putting on the uniform himself.

“When I applied to become a police officer, I knew this was the career for me,” Rivera wrote in a “Why I Became a Police Officer” letter to the commissioner of the NYPD’s training academy in 2020.

“Coming from an immigrant family, I will be the first to say that I am a member of the NYPD, the greatest police force in the world.

“Growing up in Inwood, Manhattan, the community’s relationship between the police and community was not great,” he wrote. “I was too young to know that during that time, the NYPD was pulling over and frisking people at a high rate.”

Rivera said he then watched the department “pushing hard” to change its policies and improve its relationship with the community.

“This was when I realized that I wanted to be a part of the men in blue: [to] better the relationship between the community and the police.”

Rivera added that he believed he could personally make a difference as an officer in “this chaotic city.”

“Something as small as helping a tourist with directions, or helping a couple resolve an issue will put a smile on someone’s face,” he wrote.

Rivera joined the NYPD in November 2020.

Mora, who is still fighting for his life, joined the department in 2018.

The last NYPD officer killed in action was 43-year-old traffic cop Anastasios Tsakos, who died after behind hit by a drunk driver on the Long Island Expressway in April 2021.

Wilbert Mora, who is still fighting for his life, joined the department in 2018
Wilbert Mora, who is still fighting for his life, joined the department in 2018Credit: AP
The weapon used in the shooting was an illegal Glock .45
The weapon used in the shooting was an illegal Glock .45Credit: NYPD
The gunfire erupted during a domestic violence call out in Harlem
The gunfire erupted during a domestic violence call out in HarlemCredit: EPA
NYPD officer killed and another in critical condition after shooting

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Luke Kenton

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