The widow of fallen NYPD officer Jason Rivera, who was fatally shot in Harlem one year ago, announced during a memorial mass at St. Patrick Cathedral on Saturday 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.
"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.
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22-year-old Rivera and 27-year-old Wilbert Mora, died after they were shot on Jan. 21, 2022 while responding to a 911 call about a woman having a dispute with her son in a Harlem apartment.
The officers were shot by the suspect, 47-year-old Lashawn McNeil, as they approached a rear bedroom.
Rivera continued saying that the past year had been "unbearable."
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"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."
The bilingual mass included tributes from both families as Mora's sister, Karina, read a message in Spanish saying her brother had a beautiful heart and that the loss had been difficult but made easier with the department's support.
Elected officials such as Mayor Eric Adams and Police Commissioner Keechant Sewell were also present.
"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," Sewell said.