HARLEM, Manhattan (PIX11) — NYPD officer Wilbert Mora has died from injuries sustained during a shooting Friday evening at a Harlem apartment building, NYPD Commissioner Keechant Sewell announced on Tuesday.
“It’s with great sadness I announce the passing of Police Officer Wilbert Mora. 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,” Sewell said on Twitter.
The 27-year-old police officer was shot in the head and underwent at least one surgery to alleviate swelling on his brain, law enforcement sources told PIX11 News on Saturday.
New York City Mayor Eric Adams and President of the Police Benevolent Association (PBA) Pat Lych both called Mora a hero, remembering the work and service he did for the city.
“Wilbert Mora was a hero. He served his city, protected his community and gave his life for our safety. Our hearts are heavy. Our city is in mourning. To his family, loved ones, and brothers and sisters in the NYPD: Your city is standing with you today and always,” Adams said on Twitter.
“True heroes never die. Our brother Police Officer Wilbert Mora has left us, but he will live on in the heart of every New York City police officer from this day forward. We are called upon to put ourselves between evil and the good people of this city. Police Officer Mora showed us what it means to carry out our mission with courage, skill and humanity. His sacrifice will guide us as we continue that mission, but we cannot succeed alone. We ask you once again to join us. Help us mourn our fallen heroes, and help us carry on in their name,” Lynch said in a statement.
Mora and NYPD officer Jason Rivera, 22, were responding to a domestic incident between a mother and her adult son at an apartment on 135th Street Friday evening when they were ambushed, police said. After speaking with the mother and another son at the front of the apartment, Mora and Rivera went down a narrow hallway, where 47-year-old Lashawn McNeil opened a bedroom door and fired, striking them, police said.
Both officers were rushed to Harlem Hospital, located on the same block as the apartment, and Rivera was pronounced dead Friday night. Police had described Mora’s condition on Friday as critical, and Sewell had said he was fighting for his life.
Meanwhile, McNeil tried to flee the apartment but was shot several times by a third officer who had remained with his mother toward the front of the apartment, authorities said. McNeil, an ex-con who was on probation for a narcotics conviction, died at Harlem Hospital on Monday, Mayor Adams said.
A Glock .45 was recovered near a back bedroom inside the apartment, police said. It was rigged at the bottom with a high-quantity magazine capable of holding up to 40 bullets.