NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – An off-duty correction officer was shot dead following an alleged road rage incident early Friday morning in Queens, police say.
Jonathan Narain, 27, was found sitting in a red Honda Accord around 1:46 a.m. near 103rd Avenue and 120th Street in the Richmond Hill neighborhood.
Police said he was shot in the head while stopped at a red light.
“While on his way to work, Officer Narain stopped at a local store to buy some food. It was after this purchase he has two encounters with an unknown male on a motorcycle,” Chief Of Detectives William Aubry said. “Officer Narain was shot shortly after the second encounter with the unknown male.”
Police said video shows Narain and the motorcyclist get into a verbal argument before the suspect opens fire and speeds off.
“I heard the gun shots and thought it was fireworks, but then I heard police and everything and realized it wasn’t fireworks,” said Lisa Singh.
“The entire Department of Correction is grieving this morning upon learning of the tragic shooting death of an off duty Correction Officer. My deepest sympathy and heartfelt condolences go out to the officer’s family, friends, and colleagues throughout the department. We are in close communication with the NYPD,” Commissioner Cynthia Brann said in a statement.
“Correction Officer Narain was assigned to the Anna M. Kross Center on Rikers Island and had been a Correction Officer since January 14, 2016. He was a very good Correction Officer and well liked by his fellow officers,” the union said in a statement. “He was 27 years old. He was the middle son of three boys. His oldest brother, Jason, is a New York City Firefighter. And his younger brother, Jeremy, is a student.”
CBS2’s Jenna DeAngelis spoke with Narain’s cousin who said the correction officer “loved his job.”
“It’s just really weird, I feel really lost right now,” said Kevin Ramdhani. “I still didn’t believe it when I went (to the hospital).”
“I held him, I hugged him and kissed him,” he added.
A candlelight vigil was held for Narain on Friday night during which friends and family members spoke out, reports CBS2’s Reena Roy.
“He told me he was going see me on Friday,” said Heymant Budhram, brother of the victim. “I don’t know what to say no more, I don’t have no words, no words,”
The union is offering a $10,000 reward for information leading to an arrest and conviction in the case.