Hundreds of residents and members of NYPD gathered outside the NYPD’s 32nd precinct in Harlem Saturday evening to mourn the death of rookie Officer Jason Rivera, 22.
Rivera died after he and two other police officers were shot by a man in an apartment after responding to a domestic incident Friday.
NYPD officer Victor Guzman of the 32nd precinct said they always remember Rivera as a jolly person who loves his job dearly.
“He was always smiling, a friendly guy,” Guzman said.
“He was young, 22 years old. It’s a lot,” Guzman added.
Among those who joined the vigil are New York City Mayor Eric Adams and New York State Attorney General Letitia James.
Adams said the city is battling a small number of people who want to sow violence to the city.
”We know some would say 95 percent of the city is good. I say 99 percent of the city is good. Let’s weed out that 1 percent,” Adams said.
“We are not going to be intimidated by those who believe we should look down on the men and women who put on their bulletproof vests, stand on street corners protecting children and families as though they should be ashamed of the occupation that they are holding in the city,” Adams added.
Adams’ Chief advisor, Chaplain Ingrid Lewis Martin said the Big Apple needs to do better against gun violence.
“He went to help a mother who cried out because her son was being violent towards her. He ended up losing his life so now his mother and family mourn,” Martin said.
“When we know that our children have guns, it’s our obligation to let the police know. When we know our neighbors have guns, it’s our obligation to let the police know,” Martin added.
Aside from Rivera, his partner Officer Wilbert Mora, 27, was also critically injured in the attack made by Lashawn McNeil, 47.
A third officer shot McNeil in the head and arm as the alleged shooter tried to flee.
Sources said McNeil was in critical condition at Harlem Hospital on Saturday.