July 6, 2012

Officer stabbed, man shot at LIRR station

An officer with the New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) Police Department was stabbed Friday while on patrol at the Jamaica Station of the Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) while attempting to disarm an emotionally disturbed man holding a knife.

Officer John Barnett, 45, an almost 13-year veteran of the MTA PD, was stabbed in the face without warning or provocation. Barnett suffered a devastating wound to his left eye and underwent surgery at Jamaica Hospital. The suspect was shot and killed.

Barnett was on routine patrol on Sutphin Boulevard under the elevated LIRR Jamaica Station when the perpetrator, identified as Edgar Owens, 46, of the Bronx, walked out of the station at street level. He approached Barnett, who was standing near a taxi booth, while holding the knife at his side.

The ensuing confrontation was captured on video and described by witnesses. Owens stabbed Barnett with no warning. Barnett stepped back, drew his weapon and warned Owens repeatedly to drop his knife. Owens continued approaching Barnett with the knife in his hand.

Barnett fired his weapon four times, striking Owens three times in his jaw, chest and hip. Owens was brought to Jamaica Hospital and pronounced dead a short time later.

Train service on the LIRR was not disrupted during the investigation but customers had to use elevators near the ticket offices or in the AirTrain building to access the platforms as staircases and escalators were blocked temporarily.

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