MTA Police Officer John Barnett Released from Hospital

John Barnett

MTA PD Officer John Barnett

Edgar Owens

Suspect Edgar Owens

MTA Police Officer John Barnett is going home.

Officer John Barnett, 45, an almost 13-year veteran of the MTA PD, was released from Jamaica this evening after undergoing surgery last night. Barnett suffered a devastating wound to his left eye during an altercation with an emotionally disturbed individual who he shot and killed.

Officer 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 Officer 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 Officer Barnett with no warning. Officer Barnett stepped back, drew his weapon and warned Owens repeatedly to drop his knife. Owens continued approaching Officer Barnett with the knife in his hand.

Officer 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.

According to the NYPD, Owens has a history of confronting police officers without provocation. In 2006, he walked into the 26th Precinct stationhouse and punched an officer in the face. In 2007, he walked into the 103rd Precinct and said he wanted to get arrested, and would punch someone if necessary. He has a history of additional arrests as well.

Officer Barnett has never previously fired his weapon in the line of duty. He served a year with the NYPD before joining the MTA Police Department in 1999. He graduated from SUNY Maritime College and served his country in the Navy Reserves, doing tours in Iraq and Afghanistan. He lives in Suffolk County and has a 12-year-old son.

Photo of MTA Police officer John Barnett leaving Jamaica Hospital ThursdayMTA Police Officer John Barnett, seated in wheelchair, leaving Jamaica Hospital this evening, to a warm welcome from fellow MTA Police Officers. Photo credit: Aaron Donovan/MTA Press Office