🚨 OFFICERS DOWN: Please pray for the families of the two NYPD officers shot and killed in Harlem this evening. These two heroes were killed while responding to a domestic violence call, according to media reports.
— National Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) (@GLFOP) January 22, 2022
The suspect in the deadly shooting, Leshawn McNeil, is a convicted felon who was on active probation at the time his mother called police to intervene in a domestic situation. McNeil’s probation stemmed from a felony drug conviction out of New York in 2003.
McNeil’s criminal history was not limited to the State of New York as he was arrested in 1998 in South Carolina for unlawful possession of a weapon. It is unknown what the weapon was that he was accused of possessing and the charges were later dismissed.
New York Chief of Detectives James Essig also noted that McNeil had been arrested in Pennsylvania for assaulting a police officer in 2002. Then in 2003, he was arrested twice in the same state, one of the arrests was a felony drug charge while the other was a misdemeanor.
Photo of gun used by man who shot two NYPD officers in Harlem tonight
The officer who died was only 22 years old 🙏🏻 pic.twitter.com/fBZxK7ujMQ
— TalkRadio 77 WABC (@77WABCradio) January 22, 2022
Now, according to the New York Post, we are learning that McNeil is not only a convicted felon, but he was also allegedly anti-government and anti-police.
McNeil, who had recently moved back to New York from Baltimore to care for a disabled brother, allegedly frequently argued with his mother over simple things, like lost house keys.
Domestic violence calls have always been among the most dangerous calls that police officers can respond to, both for the officers and the people they are trying to protect.
I am praying for the families of the NYPD officers shot and killed tonight, and for the city of New York. pic.twitter.com/b3cNExPGwo
— Rep. Val Demings (@RepValDemings) January 22, 2022
The police source reported that things between McNeil and his mother, Shirley Sourzes, came to a head on January 21st when she called 911 reporting that he had “problems.” At this point, it is unclear exactly what the “problems” were that Sourzes was reporting.
The Post was able to discover concerning social media posts that McNeil allegedly authored, including a music video which depicts two men pointing guns at a New York Police Officer. Another post alleged that McDonald’s meat source was humans as opposed to animals. The post said:
“Stop eating stop eating McDonald’s you’re eating human children mainly people of color.”
This post seems to refer to the Moorish Sovereign Citizen ideology which errantly believes they are not subject to the laws of the United States.
Since they believe they are not subject to the laws, they are known for creating violent situations with law enforcement. The Southern Poverty Law Center, a very left leaning organization, has identified the Moorish Sovereign Citizens as an extremist hate group.
The shooting occurred after New York Police Officers Jason Rivera, Wilber Mora, and a third who has yet to be identified responded to Sourzes residence after she called for help.
Police reported when the officers arrived, they began speaking with Sourzes and the disabled son were in the living room while McNeil was concealed in a back bedroom.
The unidentified officer stayed with the mother while Officers Rivera and Mora walked down what was described as a narrow hallway to speak with McNeil. As officers walked down the hallway, McNeil allegedly jumped out of the bedroom and opened fire.
Officer Rivera was fatally wounded while Officer Mora went down, critically injured. The third officer shielded Sourzes from the gunfire as they fired their duty weapon.
Officer Mora is still fighting for his life in a Harlem hospital surrounding by family and friends. McNeil, who was shot once in the arm and head, is listed in critical condition also in a Harlem Hospital.
Police recovered a gun at the scene which they allege was used by McNeil to murder Officer Mora. The gun, which was reported stolen out of Baltimore in 2017, had a high-capacity magazine which was capable of holding dozens of rounds.
On January 22nd, NYPD Officers Jason Rivera, Wilbert Mora, and an unidentified third officer responded to an apartment on 135th Street after a woman called them for assistance with her 47 year old son,
Lashawn McNeil. When officers arrived on scene, the unnamed officer stayed with the woman and spoke to her about the incident as Officers Rivera and Mora went down a narrow hallway to the apartment where McNeil was located.
New York Police Department Chief of Detectives, James Essig, reported that as the officers neared a bedroom, McNeil swung the door open and opened fire. Both officers were struck in the hail of gunfire while the third officer ran to assist.
As the third officer got close, they were able to stop him before he escaped. At some point while attempting to stop McNeil’s escape, the officer opened fire, striking him twice, once in the head and the other in the arm.
Officer Rivera died from the injuries he sustained while Officer Mora was transported to a nearby hospital where he is listed in critical condition. McNeil was also transported to a hospital where he is also listed in critical condition.
Democratic New York Mayor Eric Adams, a retired NYPD Captain, and newly appointed NYPD Commissioner Keechant Sewell, were at the hospital where the critically wounded officer is being treated. Commissioner Sewell said:
“Countless officers lined this hallway after carrying him in and grieve for their brother while praying with everything they have for the other. I am struggling to find the words to express the tragedy we are enduring. We’re mourning, and we’re angry.”
Mayor Adams weighed in on the tragic event on Twitter:
“I lost my fellow officers in the line of duty. I remember my mother’s fear for her sons when we went to work every day.
“Tonight, we lost a 22-year-old son, husband and police officer. Another is fighting for his life.
“Our hearts go out to their families.”
The mayor then went on to note the violence that the city has seen in just one week into the brand-new year. He wrote:
“@NYPDC Sewell and I have had to make too many of these visits to the hospital. We made one on my first day in office.
“This week alone, four of our officers have been shot. An 11 month old baby was shot.
“This isn’t just an attack on the NYPD. It’s an attack on New York City.”
Mayor Adams went on to note that there are no gun manufacturers in the city of New York, yet “thousands of guns” are finding their ways onto their streets. He added:
“We are all witnesses. To gun violence. To these murders. To the failures of leaders who have allowed these killers to get ahold of guns.
“We won’t allow violence to divide our city. It will unite us – being united is the only way we can save our city.”
Essig reported that McNeil was on probation at the time of the shooting for a 2003 drug conviction that occurred New York City.
Additionally, he had a lengthy criminal history out of several states, including a weapons charge in South Carolina and assaulting a police officer in Pennsylvania.
Essig reported the gun that McNeil used to kill one officer and wound another was a .45 Glock with a high-capacity magazine that was able to hold up to 40 rounds. The gun had been reported stolen out of Baltimore back in 2017.
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