Thousands of first responders assembled in and around St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York City Friday to honor the life of a slain cop whose murder one week ago while responding to a domestic violence dispute horrified the nation.
NYPD Officer Jason Rivera, 22, responded to a domestic disturbance in Harlem last Friday. He and partner Wilbert Mora, 27, were reportedly shot by suspect Lashawn McNeil.
Mora also later died from his injuries, and McNeil passed away after being shot by a third officer.
Rivera had just married his wife Dominique Luzuriaga this past October. The grieving widow fought back tears Friday, as she spoke at her husband’s funeral, calling the ordeal “unreal” and a “nightmare.”
“Although I gained thousands of Blue Brothers and sisters, I’m the loneliest without you. I know you’re looking at me and beside me telling me I could do this, and I’m trying,” she said. “Trust me, I am. But I didn’t prepare for this.”
Luzuriaga said her husband would have been happy to see he’s remembered like a “true hero.” The grieving widow also spoke about the struggles police have faced amid increased violence.
“We are not safe anymore — not even the members of the service,” she said. “I’m sure all of our blue family is tired, too,” she continued. “But I promise — we promise — that your death won’t be in vain. I love you to the end of time.”
Watch her heartbreaking remarks at the 1:46-mark:
Before the funeral, Luzuriaga took to Instagram to share photos and heartbreaking messages about her late husband.
“This is probably the heaviest my heart has ever felt,” she wrote. “Mi media naranja, like my mother-in-law used to call him, left me feeling so empty.”
Luzuriaga continued, “I love you so much mi pollito in heaven. See you later.” “Pollito” is an affectionate label that means “little chicken” or “chicken.”
Another image, posted Thursday, shows Luzuriaga holding her husband’s hand and saying goodbye to her beloved.
“Eternal love,” she wrote. “Live through me.”
Thousands of cops from around the U.S. showed up for the funeral, with some law enforcement officers also reportedly coming from faraway countries.
Please continue to pray for the officer’s friends and loved ones who are mourning.
As Faithwire previously reported, Rivera’s partner, Wilbert Mora, who also died after the incident, saved people’s lives after his family donated his organs.
His heart, liver, kidneys, and pancreas were saved and given to five people in need: three of who live in New York and two outside the Empire State. Read more about that story here.
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