Stabbed MTA police officer released from hospital

July 5, 2012 9:07:48 PM PDT
An emotional group of MTA officers saluted their wounded colleague as he came out of the hospital on Thursday evening, only a day and half after he was stabbed in the face outside Jamaica Station.

Smiling broadly, MTA officer John Barnett gave thumbs up as he came out of Jamaica Hospital.

A bandage near his left eye covered a deep stab wound.

However, if it was bothering this former Navy Reservist who served in Iraq and Afghanistan, you wouldn't know it.

"Yesterday, when he was sitting at the emergency room, he was joking around. He was in good spirits," said Sergeant John Chang of the MTA Police Department.

Sergeant John Chang shares more than just a uniform and a first name with Officer Barnett.

The two have been friends for more than a decade, and Chang was the one who found his wounded colleague.

"We heard the call over the radio, shots fired. I ran outside to the station, and I see John standing there covered with blood," said Chang.

Barnett was randomly attacked Wednesday morning outside Jamaica Station by 46-year-old Edgar Owens who investigators describe as emotionally unstable.

After he was stabbed, police say Barnett pulled his service revolver and demanded Owens drop the knife.

When he refused and lunged forward, Barnett fired his weapon? hitting Owens three times and killing him.

Captain John Fitzpatrick, the third John in the story says officer John Barnett is surrounded by a caring and loving family, including his brothers in blue, who will help him through the difficult times ahead.

"He's the type of guy who walks out of the hospital one day after getting stabbed in the eye. That's the type of guy he is," said Fitzpatrick.

As for Officer Barnett's injury, Eyewitness News is told it will be a few more days before doctors will know how his vision has been impacted.

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