Second policeman dies as a result of shooting in New York’s Harlem neighbourhood

Officer Wilbert Mora was taken off life support at a Manhattan hospital four days after a gunman shot him and officer Jason Rivera.

Mounted New York City Police Department officers gather for a candlelight vigil outside NYPD Officer Wilbert Mora’s apartment building (Yuki Iwamura/AP)
Mounted New York City Police Department officers gather for a candlelight vigil outside NYPD Officer Wilbert Mora’s apartment building (Yuki Iwamura/AP)

A New York City police officer gravely wounded last week in a Harlem shooting that killed his partner has also died of his injuries, the city’s police commissioner said, adding to what she called “incalculable” grief within the department.

Officer Wilbert Mora, 27, was taken off life support at a Manhattan hospital four days after a gunman shot him and officer Jason Rivera, 22, as they responded to a domestic disturbance call.

Mr Rivera died on Friday.

Mr Mora had been in critical condition since the shooting.

He was moved on Sunday from Harlem Hospital to NYU Langone Medical Centre, where he died.

“It’s with great sadness I announce the passing of Police Officer Wilbert Mora,” police Commissioner Keechant Sewell said in a tweet.

“Wilbert is 3 times a hero. For choosing a life of service. For sacrificing his life to protect others. For giving life even in death through organ donation. Our heads are bowed & our hearts are heavy.”

In a message to officers announcing Mr Mora’s death, Ms Sewell said: “The grief in this Department is incalculable.

“We will stand, salute and shed tears, yet manage to smile as we remember him during the extremely difficult days ahead.”

The two officers were fatally wounded on Friday after they were called to a Harlem apartment by a woman who said she needed help with her adult son.

Lashawn J. McNeil threw open a bedroom door and shot the officers as they walked down a narrow hall, authorities said.

A person takes picture of a makeshift memorial outside the apartment building of New York City Police Department Officer Wilbert Mora (Yuki Iwamura/AP)
A person takes picture of a makeshift memorial outside the apartment building of New York City Police Department Officer Wilbert Mora (Yuki Iwamura/AP)

A third officer, Sumit Sulan, a rookie who was shadowing Mr Mora and Mr Rivera, shot McNeil as he tried to flee.

The gunman, 47, died on Monday, authorities said.

McNeil’s mother told the New York Post she was trying to convince her son to get help for mental health issues and that she would not have called 911 had she known he was going to use violence against the officers.

Mr Mora and Mr Rivera “were dedicated, courageous and compassionate officers, loved by many. The pain their families feel is immeasurable. We pray for them; we will be strong for them”, Ms Sewell said in the message.

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