NEW YORK -- The man who shot two New York City police officers in a Harlem apartment, killing one of them and putting another in critical condition, died Monday of injuries sustained when a third officer shot him, Mayor Eric Adams said at a news conference on his plans to combat gun violence.
Lashawn J. McNeil, 47, had swung open a bedroom door and opened fire at the officers Friday as they responded to a 911 call for a domestic dispute, authorities said. Officer Sumit Sulan, a rookie who was shadowing the two wounded officers, shot McNeil as he tried to flee, striking him in the head and arm, police said.
A law enforcement official told The Associated Press that McNeil died Monday afternoon at Harlem Hospital, where he'd been in critical condition since the shooting. The official was not authorized to speak publicly and did so on condition of anonymity.
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 wouldn't have called 911 had she known he was going to use violence against the officers.
“If I knew, I never would have made the phone call,” Shirley Sourzes said in an article published Monday on the Post's website. “I would never have called!”
Three officers arrived at the apartment after a call came in from Sourzes saying she needed help with McNeil, officials said. They spoke with Sourzes and another son, but there was no mention of a weapon. Two of the officers walked from the front of the apartment down a narrow hall, authorities said.
McNeil then opened the door and fired on the officers. The gun he used was a .45-caliber Glock stolen from Baltimore in 2017, equipped with a high-capacity magazine capable of holding up to 40 extra rounds, NYPD Chief of Detectives James Essig said. Police said Monday that while searching the apartment over the weekend they found a loaded semi-automatic rifle under McNeil’s mattress.
Officer Jason Rivera, 22, was killed and Officer Wilbert Mora, 27, was gravely injured. Mora was transferred Sunday from Harlem Hospital to NYU Langone Medical Center.
Rivera, 22, entered the police academy in November 2020 and had been assigned to the 32nd precinct in Harlem since graduating last May. He’d made 15 arrests in his short career, according to police records.
In an essay at the police academy, he wrote that he became an officer to “better the relationship between the community and the police,” acknowledging unpleasant experiences with police while growing up in the Inwood section of Manhattan.
Mora, 27, entered the academy in October 2018 and had been assigned to the Harlem precinct since November 2019. He’s racked up 33 arrests, police records show.
McNeil was on probation for a 2003 drug conviction in New York City and also had several out of state arrests.
In 1998, he was arrested in South Carolina for unlawfully carrying a pistol, but records show the matter was later dismissed. In 2002, he was arrested in Pennsylvania for assaulting a police officer, Essig said.
Follow Michael Sisak on Twitter at twitter.com/mikesisak