MTA officer John Barnett, who fended off an attacker that stabbed him in the eye, was released from the hospital last night.
Despite an injury that could potentially take sight from one of his eyes, Barnett was able to fire four shots into his attacker, who police say assailed the veteran transit cop for no reason, at the Jamaica LIRR station.
Barnett, who has served the MTA for almost 13 years, was attacked by a knife-weilding Edgar Owens on Wednesday, July 4 when Owens confronted the officer, and proceeded to stab him in the eye. After repeated warnings, the officer shot at Owens four times — hitting him thrice, MTA officials said.
Both were brought to Jamaica Hospital, where Owens was later pronounced dead, officials said.
Barnett was released last night, though no prognosis was made on his eye’s recovery.
Had the stabbing been one inch deeper, it would have made contact with Barnett’s brain, an MTA spokesperson.
Service was not interrupted during the investigation, except for some temporarily-blocked staircases.
MTA Chairman Joseph J. Lhota rushed to Jamaica Hospital after hearing about the altercation, according to an MTA release.
Lhota said that hopes were high for Barnett and commended him for his bravery.
“The entire MTA family is praying for Officer Barnett to make a full recovery,” Lhota said. “He 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. We are all in awe of his bravery.”
Governor Andrew Cuomo also called Barnett and likewise recognized his heroics in the statement.
“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. “We applaud Officer Barnett’s bravery and pray for a full recovery.”
Barnett served one year with the NYPD before moving over to the MTA in 1999, according to the MTA. He has also served tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan as an officer in the Naval Reserves.