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NYPD rookie Sumit Sulan promoted to detective for fatally shooting killer of Officers Rivera and Mora

Mourners hold candles during a prayer vigil at the 32nd Precinct on East 135th Street for the NYPD officers Jason Rivera and Wilbert Mora on Saturday, Jan. 22, 2022. (Jeff Bachner/New York Daily News/TNS)

The NYPD rookie cop who fatally shot the killer of Officers Jason Rivera and Wilbert Mora was promoted to detective Tuesday.

NYPD Commissioner Keechant Sewell proudly handed Sumit Sulan a new detective shield during a brief ceremony held at NYPD headquarters.

“The actions of officer Sulan likely saved the lives of the other officers responding to that apartment,” Sewell said. “Like his partners, he is an example that police officers are ordinary people who are called upon to do extraordinary things and they often do, risking everything.”

Sulan was presented with shield number 332, “symbolizing three brothers from the 32nd Precinct,” Sewell said.

Sulan was the only cop still standing after heavily armed ex-con Lashawn McNeil unleashed a fusillade of gunfire in the narrow hallway of a W. 135th St. apartment after police responded to a domestic violence call on Jan. 21.

“He responded with his partners to what was supposed to be a routine call, a domestic dispute,” Sewell said. “It turned out to be a gun battle. When the shooting started, Officer Sulan ordered (McNeil’s) mother and brother into the kitchen to shield them away and advanced toward the hallway where the gunman opened fire, taking him down as the gunman prepared to open fire again.”

Moments after McNeil, 47, fatally shot Rivera and Mora, Sulan ran to the hallway, shooting the gunman multiple times.

Rivera, 22, died of his wounds after being brought to the hospital. Both Mora and McNeil died the next week.

Sewell posthumously promoted Mora and Rivera to detectives at their funerals held a few days apart at St. Patrick’s Cathedral. Thousands of officers from across the country came to the services.

Even after death, Mora continued to save lives. His heart, liver, pancreas and both kidneys were removed for donations expected to save multiple lives, police officials said.

Sulan, 27, was a rookie and had been assigned just to observe Rivera and Mora in action.

While he’s been repeatedly hailed as a hero, he spent the weekend after the shooting struggling with what he did, his family told the News.

“He did his job — that’s his job,” his sister said. “(We’re) trying to be there for my brother. That’s their priority, right now. Everyone in the family is here for him. Everyone in the department is here for him.”

Even before last month’s fatal clash, Sulan had been hailed by the NYPD for his police work. On Jan. 2, the 32nd precinct tweeted a pic of Sulan with a handgun he and fellow officers seized during another domestic dispute call. “#OneLessGun off the streets of #Harlem, hopefully preventing future violence,” the department tweeted.


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