Police are still looking for the man who shot NYPD officer Brian Groves early yesterday, but they don't have to look for the man who stabbed MTA officer John Barnett beneath the left eye on July 4th. Barnett shot and killed his assailant, Edgar Owens (who "had a history of attacking cops without provocation"), during their altercation. And yesterday Barnett was released from Jamaica hospital. But the 13-year veteran isn't quite in the clear yet.
"The injuries are very severe," State Senator Malcolm Smith (D-Queens) told reporters outside the hospital after visiting the 45-year-old officer. "In talking to the administration here, it’s possible he may lose the eye."
Still, Barnett appears in good spirits. Leaving the hospital with an MTAPD cap covering his eye, he told reporters he was doing "very good." Adding, "I want to get back to running. I want to get back to the job as soon as possible." Barnett is a marathon runner. His sister elaborated, saying of her brother, a newly designated hero (even though he says he "just did my job"), "He’s ecstatic, he wants to frame every picture [in newspapers]. And he can’t wait to get back to jogging and running a marathon."
On Wednesday morning Barnett was talking to a taxi dispatcher on Sutphin Boulevard when Owens "walked out of the station, holding a knife at his side and began slashing away without warning." According to Barnett, "I didn’t really see him walk up to me. It was a complete surprise." Luckily, instinct kicked in. "I was scared a little but not that much," Barnett said. "I’ve had the best training. I’ve been in military training. I’ve been in police training. I feel lucky to be alive."