Widow of fallen NYPD Det. Jason Rivera recalls how she learned of husband's shooting through 'Citizen' app

NYPD Commissioner Sewell delivers impassioned speech honoring Det. Jason Rivera

Police Commissioner Sewell promoted slain NYPD Officer Jason Rivera in a moving eulogy at St. Patrick’s Cathedral.

NEW YORK CITY – The grieving widow of slain New York City Police Det. Jason Rivera described through tears the terror-filled moments when she learned through cell phone apps and technology that her husband was one of the officers gunned down by a domestic violence suspect. 

“Today, I’m still in this nightmare that I wish I never had. Full of rage and anger – hurt and sad, torn,” Dominique Luzuriaga Rivera told the thousands of mourners who packed the pews of St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York City. “Although I gained thousands of blue brothers and sisters, I’m the loneliest without you.”

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    Dominique Rivera, left, wife of NYPD Officer Jason Rivera, watches as his casket is loaded into a hearse outside St. Patrick’s Cathedral after his funeral service, Friday, Jan. 28, 2022, in New York. (AP Photo/Yuki Iwamura)

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    Dominique Rivera, left, widow of NYPD Det. Jason Rivera, waits to be presented with a flag after Rivera’s funeral outside St. Patrick’s Cathedral, Friday, Jan. 28, 2022, in New York. (AP Photo/Yuki Iwamura)

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    A priest hugs Dominique Rivera, wife of NYPD Det. Jason Rivera, during funeral services for Rivera, Friday, Jan. 28, 2022, at St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York.  (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer, POOL)

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    Dominique Rivera walks past her husband’s casket after eulogizing him during his funeral mass at St. Patricks Cathedral Jan. 28, 2022, in New York. (Mary Altaffer-Pool/Getty Images)

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    Dominique Rivera, widow of fallen NYPD Det. Jason Rivera ( )

She was held by another woman as she spoke for about 10 minutes, struggling through tears and a shaky voice at times to finish her sentences. 

Just one week earlier, she and Rivera, a 22-year-old police officer assigned to the NYPD’s 32nd Precinct, had an argument before they left each other. 

“You asked me if you are sure that you don’t want me to take you home. ‘It might be the last ride I give you,’” she recalled him saying, as she grew more emotional. “I said no. And that was probably the biggest mistake I ever made.”

Rivera said she hailed an Uber and returned home. Later that day, “I received the call I wish none of you that are sitting here with me will ever receive.”

The “nightmare” began with a notification from the Citizen app, a breaking news application that notifies users in real-time when crimes are being reported nearby. It streams the crimes or breaking news and allows users to stream live video from the scene. 

“I saw that two police officers were shot in Harlem. My heart dropped,” she recalled. “I immediately texted you and asked you, ‘Are you OK? Please tell me you’re OK. I know that you’re mad right now but just text me you’re OK. At least tell me you’re busy.’”

When she got no response, she checked Rivera’s location using Apple’s Find My iPhone software and saw that he was at Harlem Hospital.

She thought he might have been waiting for a crime suspect, she explained. “But still, nothing.” 

“I called, and then called again and then called one more time. And this time I felt something wasn’t right,” she added.

Rivera said she began calling her husband’s fellow officers but got no answer. 

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      (Bloomfield Division of Public Safety via Storyful)

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      (NYPD Special Ops / Twitter)

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      (NYPD Special Ops / Twitter)

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    Mourners embrace ahead of a Jan. 28, 2022, funeral service for New York City Police Department (NYPD) Det. Jason Rivera, who was killed in the line of duty while responding to a domestic violence call. (REUTERS/Carlo Allegri)

Then, she got a call from someone asking if she was “Jason’s wife … And that I had to rush to the hospital.” 

“Walking up those steps, seeing everybody staring at me was the scariest moment I’ve experienced,” Rivera said. “Nobody was telling me anything. Dozens of people were surrounding me. And yet I felt alone.

“I couldn’t believe you left me. Seeing you in a hospital bed, wrapped up in sheets, not hearing you when I was talking to you broke me. I asked why. I said to you, ‘Wake up, baby. I’m here.’

“The little bit of hope I had that you would come back to life, just to say goodbye or say, ‘I love you,’ one more time had left. I was lost. I’m still lost.”

Mikey Light, a spokesperson for Citizen app, told Fox News Digital Friday the company’s “thoughts are with Dominique Luzuriaga and her family as they grieve the tragic loss of” Det. Rivera. 

Thousands of law enforcement officers from across the country and the world joined loved ones and the public on Friday in paying their final respects.

NYPD’s Commissioner Keechant Sewell announced during her eulogy she had promoted Jason Rivera to Detective First Grade posthumously.

Sewell told the crowd New York City has always been “a city of lights.”

“And Police Officer Jason Rivera was one of the brightest,” she said. 

Rivera and his partner, Officer Wilbert Mora, 27, were shot Jan. 21 while responding to a report of a domestic violence incident in Harlem involving a mother and her adult son, Lashawn McNeil. 

Along with a third officer, the pair met with the woman and had begun to approach the back bedroom, where they were told McNeil was staying. As they approached, McNeil opened fire and struck Rivera and Mora. The third officer returned fire and critically injured McNeil. 

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    A New York Police officer holds a photo of Det. Jason Rivera while gathering for Rivera’s funeral service, Friday, Jan. 28, 2022, outside St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York. (AP Photo/Yuki Iwamura)

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    Calvin Hunt of Harlem holds a picture of New York City Police Department (NYPD) Det. Jason Rivera, who was killed in the line of duty while responding to a domestic violence call. (REUTERS/Jeenah Moon)

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    Police officers attend a funeral service for NYPD Officer Jason Rivera, who was killed in the line of duty while responding to a domestic violence call. (REUTERS/David ‘Dee’ Delgado)

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    A police officer reacts during the funeral service for New York City Police Department (NYPD) Officer Jason Rivera, who was killed in the line of duty while responding to a domestic violence call. (REUTERS/Jeenah Moon)

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    Police officers stand with a ‘Blue Lives Matter’ flag in the foreground during the funeral service for New York City Police Department (NYPD) Officer Jason Rivera, who was killed in the line of duty while responding to a domestic violence call. (REUTERS/Jeenah Moon)

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    Law enforcement officers salute during the funeral service for New York City Police Department (NYPD) Officer Jason Rivera, who was killed in the line of duty while responding to a domestic violence call. (REUTERS/Jeenah Moon)

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    A procession carries the body of NYPD Officer Jason Rivera to a cemetery as people watch from an overpass in Yonkers, N.Y., Friday, Jan. 28, 2022. Rivera and his partner, Officer Wilbert Mora, were fatally wounded when a gunman ambushed them in an apartment as they responded to a family dispute last week. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

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    A hearse carries a casket during the funeral service for New York City Police Department (NYPD) Officer Jason Rivera, who was killed in the line of duty while responding to a domestic violence call. (REUTERS/Jeenah Moon)

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    Funeral procession for NYPD Officer Jason Rivera. (Getty Images)

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    The casket of fallen NYPD Officer Jason Rivera is brought out of St. Patrick’s Cathedral during his funeral Jan. 28, 2022, in New York City. The 22-year-old NYPD officer was shot and killed Jan. 21 in Harlem while responding to a domestic disturbance call. Rivera’s partner, Officer Wilbert Mora, also died from injuries suffered in the shooting. (Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

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    Thousands of NYPD officers attend the funeral of Officer Jason Rivera at St. Patrick’s Cathedral Jan. 28, 2022, in New York City. Rivera, 22, was shot and killed while responding to a domestic violence call last week, and his partner, Officer Wilbert Mora, was critically injured, and died days later. (Tayfun Coskun/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

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    Members of New York Police Department attend a funeral service for NYPD Officer Jason Rivera, who was killed in the line of duty while responding to a domestic violence call. (REUTERS/David ‘Dee’ Delgado)

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    Thousands of police officers from around the country gather at St. Patrick’s Cathedral to attend the funeral for fallen NYPD Officer Jason Rivera Jan. 28, 2022 in New York City. (Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

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    Members of the New York Police Department arrive to attend a funeral service for NYPD Officer Jason Rivera, who was killed in the line of duty while responding to a domestic violence call. (REUTERS/David ‘Dee’ Delgado)

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    Mourners gather ahead of a funeral service for New York City Police Department Officer Jason Rivera, who was killed in the line of duty while responding to a domestic violence call. (REUTERS/Carlo Allegri)

Rivera died Jan. 21 shortly after the shooting.

Mora, who took a gunshot to the head, succumbed to his injuries Tuesday. He donated his organs and was ultimately able to save five lives. Mora’s services have been scheduled for Feb. 1 and Feb. 2 and will also be held at St. Patrick’s Cathedral. 

McNeil allegedly used a high-capacity magazine and a handgun, both of which were found to have been stolen. He died from his injuries Monday. 

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