The widow of a New York City police officer fatally shot in Harlem one year ago announced that she is expecting their “miracle” baby.
“Although Jason won’t be here in physical form to see and experience our miracle, I know he will always be here in spirit watching, protecting and loving us,” Dominique Rivera, wife of NYPD officer Jason Rivera, said at a memorial mass on Saturday at St. Patrick’s Cathedral.
“To my unborn child, my hope is that with time, guidance and love they too will get to know their father. And as a family, we will vow to never forget and honor Jason’s tremendous legacy of service and ultimate sacrifice.”
The baby is due in the Spring.
Jason Rivera, 22, and officer Wilbert Mora, 27, were gunned down Jan. 21, 2022, while responding to a 911 call about a woman having a dispute with her son in a Harlem apartment. The two officers were fired upon without warning when they went down a narrow hallway to a rear bedroom where the suspect was, police said.
The suspect, Lashawn Mcneil, 47, was shot by a third officer and died days later in the hospital.
Dominique Rivera said the past year has been “unbearable” and there were times when she felt like she had lost herself.
“Although I can understand that for most of you life went on, it feels like time has stopped for me. … I have thought about all of the plans we made, what our lives would be like now that we are married. Thinking about the day we’d be able to make dinner for each other or wait on each other to see who comes home first. Taking yearly vacations and soaking up all the love that newlyweds feel,” she said. “The pain became so unbearable that in order to cope I started to tell myself that we had separated. This was easier to accept than to acknowledge his death.”
Mora’s sister also spoke during the memorial, reading a message in Spanish. Police Commissioner Keechant Sewell called the officers “heroes.”
“We carry the legacies of Jason and Wilbert. We muscle forward with heavy hearts with invisible lockets holding their memories, a year’s worth of tears and an immersable amount of sorrow,” she said.