NEW YORK (CBS New York) – Investigators are learning more about Lashawn McNeil, the man accused of shooting and killing NYPD Officer Jason Rivera and seriously injuring Officer Wilbert Mora in Harlem, and his potential motives.
Police said on Saturday they had yet to speak to McNeil, 47, as he recovered from surgery, but had gathered information from his mother and her social media.
READ MORE: NYPD officer Wilbert Mora still in critical condition after fatal shooting in Harlem
As CBS2’s Thalia Perez reports, investigators are still trying to piece together what happened moments before the suspect opened fire, killing Rivera and leaving Mora clinging to life.
“Right now it’s all about prayers. We need New Yorkers to pray for the well-being of this officer who we should all be proud of,” Mayor Eric Adams said Saturday.
The suspect’s mother told police she had recently had a medical procedure and that McNeil was in town from Baltimore to help her, but they had an argument which resulted in her calling 911.
“The mother wasn’t really specific. She just declared that she was ill. Her son was coming to take care of her and he became problematic,” Adams said.
According to police, when Rivera, Mora and a third officer arrived at the West 135th Street apartment, McNeil’s mother and another son were in the living room while McNeil was in the back bedroom and not visible.
When Rivera and Mora approached the chamber, McNeil allegedly opened fire, hitting the two officers. As McNeil left the bedroom and attempted to exit the apartment, he encountered the third officer, who fired twice, hitting McNeil in the right arm and head, police said.
The injured officers and McNeil were taken to Harlem Hospital, where Rivera later died.
READ MORE: Westchester Police Department to Visit Harlem to Honor Late NYPD Officer Jason Rivera
McNeil underwent surgery and was last reported in critical condition.
Police recovered a firearm from the scene and believe it was purchased illegally in Baltimore. Investigators are trying to determine the origin of the high-capacity ammunition clip McNeil had.
Police said McNeil had been arrested five times before the fatal encounter and was on probation after being convicted of a felony drug charge in New York in 2003.
McNeil has been arrested out of town four times on various charges, including assault on an officer and possession of weapons.
Sources tell CBS2 that McNeil also posted anti-police and anti-government messages on social media.
WATCH: Mayor Eric Adams and Bronx leaders discuss gun violence –
In the aftermath of the shooting, the mayor recommitted to addressing New York’s gun violence crisis and prosecuting arms dealers.
“Officers have removed thousands of guns from the streets, but they need help. Help is about stopping the flow, and that’s what the feds need to do,” Adams said.
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CBS2’s Thalia Perez contributed to this report. Editor’s note: This story was first published on January 22.