MTA Worker Arrested in Road Rage Shooting That Killed Off-Duty Correction Officer: Police

Jonathan Narain, 27, was found shot in the head behind the steering wheel of his car on Friday

What to Know

  • Police have arrested a man in connection with the fatal shooting of an off-duty correction officer in an apparent case of road rage
  • Jonathan Narain, 27, was found shot in the head behind the steering wheel of his car in Queens on Friday
  • Police on Sunday arrested Gifford Hunter, 30, of Queens in connection with Narain's death

Police have arrested an MTA worker in connection with an apparent road rage shooting that killed an off-duty correction officer in Queens last week.

Gifford Hunter, a 30-year-old MTA bus maintenance operator, was arrested Sunday on charges of second-degree murder and weapons-related offenses in connection with the death of Jonathan Narain. Narain, 27, was found shot in the head behind the steering wheel of his car at the intersection of 103rd Avenue and 120th Street in Richmond Hill on Friday, authorities said.

Narain was at a red light when he got into a dispute with someone -- allegedly Hunter -- riding a motorcycle, police said.

“The motorcyclist pulled up alongside, and there was a very short exchange of conversation, very short, and then the shot was fired,” NYPD Chief Bill Aubrey said on Friday.

The two men didn't know each other, according to law enforcement sources.

Hunter faces up to life in prison if convicted; the MTA confirmed that he worked for the agency, but shared no other information. Hunter was remanded without bail after his arraignment Friday. 

At that hearing, his attorney, Kenneth Finkelman, said his client maintains his innocence. He also said he believes "they have the wrong guy." 

Finkelman says Hunter doesn't own a gun and has no criminal background that would indicate he could commit such a crime -- a crime Queens District Attorney Richard Brown described as "cold-hearted and senseless." 

In a statement on Sunday, the president of the city's correction officers union, Elias Husamudeen, said members of the union were "extremely grateful to the NYPD for their relentless efforts in tracking down and arresting [Hunter]." 

"It's now time for the Queens District Attorney to prosecute this murderer to the fullest extent of the law," Husamudeen said.

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