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They served us all: NYPD Officer Jason Rivera is dead and his partner Wilbert Mora is in critical condition because of an angry man with a stolen gun

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First, we mourn. Angrily, we mourn. For a man wielding a gun stolen in Baltimore five years ago — a grotesque weapon with a high-capacity magazine holding up to 40 rounds — has cut down two of New York's Finest. Jason Rivera, a 22-year-old rookie and son of Inwood who had written earnestly his desire to "better the relationship between the community and the police," is dead. Wilbert Mora, just five years his senior, lies in critical condition at Harlem Hospital.

Two officers with careers of service ahead of them and a third partner were responding to a mother's 911 domestic violence call about her son. As they headed down the hall after a brief conversation with her and another son, police say Lashawn McNeil came out shooting. The 47-year-old was on probation after a 2003 felony drug charge; he had four arrests in other states including assaulting a police officer in Pennsylvania and a North Carolina gun charge.

NYPD Officer Jason Rivera, left, and Officer Wilbert Mora. (NYPD)

Fortunately, the third officer present shot and wounded the man who had just put bullets in his partners' flesh.

There is a sickness in this city. Twenty-two days into 2022, Rivera and Mora are the fourth and fifth cops hit with gunfire. New York is awash with firearms, and crawling with people emboldened to believe they can squeeze the triggers and risk or take lives without facing serious, certain consequences.

And there is a still deeper sickness in this nation — when, even as there are already far too many weapons already in the hands of far too many criminals, the Supreme Court stands poised to invalidate New York's strict gun laws, effectively allowing anyone to be legally armed anywhere.

As the city wipes its tears and channels its rage, it falls to Eric Adams, as suited to rise to this challenge as any mayor in recent memory, to lead the charge to staunch the flow of deadly weapons into the five boroughs — and, just as if not more critical, to ensure that those who demand those guns, who put bullets in their chambers and wantonly squeeze their triggers at civilians and cops, know that there will be hell to pay for the lives they destroy and the fear they instill. May his honor find willing, able allies in every quarter.

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