Hundreds pay tribute to fallen New York police officer

(Reuters) - New York City police officer Wilbert Mora was remembered for his love for a job he had wanted since he was a boy, his gentle personality and his heroism during a St. Patrick's Cathedral funeral on Wednesday, two weeks after he was killed responding to a call.

Mora, 27, was shot along with officer Jason Rivera after they and a third officer, a rookie, responded to a Jan. 21 disturbance in Harlem in which a woman said she was having a fight with one of her sons. Rivera, 22, also died from his injuries and his funeral service was last week.

Hundreds of mourners and New York police officers, dressed in pressed blue suits and white gloves, packed the iconic Manhattan cathedral.

Wilson Mora said his brother was an affectionate, impossibly patient, big teddy bear of a man whose smile lit up rooms.

"I just want you to know that I was always proud of you," he said. "I love you baby bro and I will always miss you."

Mora was born the youngest of four children in the Dominican Republic. He came to the United States when he was 7 years old. Even as a young boy, all he ever wanted to do was to become a police officer, Police Commissioner Keechant Sewell said.

"He absolutely loved this job," Sewell said. "With a kind, gentle soul and infectious laugh, he cared deeply about his family and truly valued his friends."

Mora, an organ donor to five people, gave even in his death, speakers during the service said.

Mora's funeral was held hours after another police officer was shot and wounded in Queens when two suspects tried to steal his car when he was on his way to work, local media reported.

Last week, New York City Mayor Eric Adams, a former police captain, announced a plan to end gun violence that included increasing the number of police officers in the city's most violence-plagued communities.

"New Yorkers understand the risk and sacrifice you make every day and we applaud you for that," Adams told officers in the pews for Mora's funeral. "We are going to give you the resources to fight this senseless violence. It's New Yorkers against the killers and we will not lose."

On Jan. 21, shortly after arriving on the scene, Mora and Rivera were fired upon in a narrow hallway by the woman's adult son. The rookie officer then shot the suspect who died of his injuries.

(Reporting by Brendan O'Brien. Editing by Donna Bryson and Diane Craft)