An MTA Police officer from Long Island shot and killed an emotionally disturbed man who stabbed him in the eye Wednesday at the Long Island Rail Road’s Jamaica station in Queens, authorities said.
Metropolitan Transportation Authority Officer John Barnett, 45, of Central Islip, underwent surgery after suffering a “devastating wound” to his left eye and was recovering in the intensive care unit, officials said.
The assailant was identified as 46-year-old Edgar Owens of the Bronx, who authorities said was holding a knife at the street-level taxi stand on Sutphin Boulevard when Barnett, who was on routine patrol, ordered him to drop the weapon.
“Owens stabbed Officer Barnett with no warning,” the MTA said in a statement. Barnett shot Owens three times in his jaw, chest and hip when the attacker approached the officer and refused to drop the knife.
Owens, who was pronounced dead at a hospital, had a history of unprovoked run-ins with NYPD officers, according to the MTA.
Investigators said the deadly confrontation was captured on surveillance video.
Barnett, a 13-year transit police veteran with no previous line-of-duty shootings, “did exactly what we expect of all of our officers: In a split second, confronted with a violent individual who posed a threat to everyone around him, he took action without regard to his personal safety,” MTA Chairman Joseph J. Lhota said in a statement. “We are all in awe of his bravery.”
The 45-year-old officer was conscious before going his operation, spoke to his family and took a phone call from Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who wished him a full recovery. Officials said it’s not yet clear whether he will retain any sight in his injured eye.
“Today we are reminded once again of the bravery and sacrifice of our men and women in law enforcement, and the many dangers that accompany the important job of keeping our state’s residents safe,” Cuomo said in a statement. “We applaud Officer Barnett’s bravery and pray for a full recovery.”
-With Associated Press.