A man is in critical condition after an MTA security guard shot him Tuesday in Brooklyn for allegedly threatening to attack his co-worker, police said.
Cops flocked to Union Street and 4th Avenue in Park Slope just after 9 p.m. on Dec. 20 when a shot rang out from the mezzanine. According to NYPD Chief of Transit Michael Kemper, the peculiar incident unfolded at Pacific Street station, when an MTA MetroCard machine maintenance worker–also known as revenue electronic maintainer — was standing on the southbound R train platform with his armed security guard waiting for a train to pull into the station.
Things swiftly spun out of control, however, as a 39-year-old straphanger approached the duo, shouting and threatening the pair, the chief reported.
“The male became irate and began to threaten to beat them up. As the train arrived the male followed the two MTA employees and continued to threaten the unarmed employee, while his partner tried to calm the male down,” Chief Kemper said.
Kemper added that the MTA workers who were in full uniform were continually berated by the commuter even while on the train. In an effort to deescalate the tense situation, police reported, the workers left the train at the Union Street station but were followed by the man to the mezzanine level.
“As they reached the mezzanine area of the station, the male began to advance towards the two MTA employees. The armed MTA worker pulled out his firearm, while repeatedly giving verbal commands for the male to back up. The male failed to comply and threatened to forcibly remove the firearm from the MTA employee. During the course of this interaction, the MTA employee fired one round, which struck the male in the chest,” Chief Kemper reported.
Police rushed to the sound of gunfire, and EMS whisked the man to NewYork-Presbyterian Brooklyn Methodist Hospital, where he remains in critical condition.
“Obviously, this is a tragic event we have two employees who are going about their business and certainly did not want their day to end like this and we have a gentleman in the hospital in critical condition,” New York City Transit President Richard Davey said. “Our employee is a 21-year veteran who discharged his firearm in the course of his duties. You know, we have about 274-armed collection agents whose job is to accompany the individuals who fix our vending machines, our 1,000 plus vending machines across the system.”
Authorities are investigating if the man had any kind of previous relationship with the MTA agents. However, Kemper revealed that the wounded man is known to police.
The investigation remains ongoing.