NEW YORK — The body of a slain 22-year-old New York Police Department officer arrived at St. Patrick’s Cathedral for his Thursday wake, with scores of solemn colleagues lining Fifth Avenue in a silent farewell six days after his killing.
An NYPD helicopter whirred overhead as Officer Jason Rivera was brought inside the venerable Midtown Manhattan church, with family members arriving prior to the 1 p.m. memorial service open to the public.
A lone police bagpiper played “Amazing Grace” as the assembled officers saluted his flag-draped casket on its way inside the cathedral on a brisk January day.
Rivera, recently married and just 14 months on the job, was fatally shot last Friday along with Officer Wilbert Mora, 27, as the pair answered a domestic dispute call that quickly turned deadly inside a Harlem apartment.
Mora, a four-year NYPD veteran, will be honored next week in St. Patrick’s Cathedral at a Tuesday wake and a Wednesday funeral.
Gunman Lashawn McNeil, 47, burst out from a bedroom in his mother’s Harlem bedroom and starting blasting with a Glock .45 handgun. The armed ex-convict, after shooting Rivera, stepped over the mortally injured officer’s body and gunned down Mora before a third officer took McNeil down.
Rivera died a short time later on Friday evening while Mora survived for four days — with his family opting to donate his two kidneys, liver, pancreas and heart for transplants, officials said.
Their assailant died Monday from his wounds.