NEW YORK (AP) — Mourning New York police officers will give a final salute Friday to Jason Rivera, a rookie colleague gunned down with his partner a week ago.
A morning funeral Mass is planned at St. Patrick’s Cathedral for the officer, who, at age 22, was recently married and barely into his second year of service on the force.
Roman Catholic Cardinal Timothy Dolan will preside over the service. Many of the city’s top leaders are expected to attend.
Rivera and a partner, Officer Wilbert Mora, were fatally wounded Jan. 21 by a gunman who ambushed them in a hallway as they responded to a family dispute. Mora’s funeral is being held next week, also at St. Patrick’s.
New York Gov. Kathy Hochul said flags at state buildings would fly at half-staff from sunrise the day of Rivera’s funeral until sunset the day of Mora’s funeral, Feb. 2.
Thousands of uniformed officers, as well as ordinary citizens, filed into the Roman Catholic cathedral Thursday for Rivera’s wake.
Strangers came from near and far, Patty Marsibilio, 61, among them. She traveled an hour by subway from the Bronx to pay her respects. When it was her turn at the casket, she stood there and prayed, she said, for the safety of other New York City police officers.
“This is something that was so terrible,” she said. “He was 22 years old, married not even four months.”
Throughout the week, friends and fellow police officers remembered Rivera and Mora as caring and dedicated. Both grew up in the city’s ethnic enclaves and, by most accounts, had hoped to help the department build bridges with the community.
The gunman, who was shot by a third officer, died earlier in the week. Authorities are still investigating why he shot at the officers.