The MTA Police officer from Central Islip that was stabbed in the eye Wednesday was released from the hospital Thursday evening, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority said.
Fellow MTA officers stood on both sides of Jamaica Hospital’s doors and clapped as Officer John Barnett, 45, was wheeled out. Barnett had to undergo surgery after an emotional disturbed man stabbed him in the left eye at the Long Island Rail Road’s Jamaica station in Queens.
Barnett was on routine patrol on Sutphin Boulevard when authorities said he was approached Edgar Owens of the Bronx, who was holding a knife. When the officer ordered Owens to drop the weapon, he instead “stabbed Officer Barnett with no warning,” according to an MTA statement.
Barnett shot Owens three times in his jaw, chest and hip. Owens was pronounced dead at Jamaica hospital. The MTA said that the 46-year-old had a history of unprovoked run-ins with NYPD officers. He was also arrested more than once in the past.
Investigators said the confrontation was captured on surveillance video.
Barnett, a 13-year transit police veteran, had never previously fired his weapon in the line of duty. He spoke with Gov. Andrew Cuomo before he went in for surgery.
“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.”
MTA Chairman Joseph J. Lhota said in a statement that Barnett “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.”
It’s not clear yet whether Barnett will be able to see at all from his injured eye.