Queens, NY – New York City Correctional Officer Johnathan Narain was murdered during his commute to work on Friday, when an unknown gunman pulled up along side him and shot him in the head.
Correctional Officer Narain, 27, was driving to his job at the Anna M. Kross jail on Rikers Island just before 1:30 a.m., when he made a U-turn to pick up a bite to eat at a nearby store, the New York Daily News reported.
According to police, Correctional Officer Narain had a brief “encounter” with a man who was riding a motorcycle, then he resumed his commute, WABC reported.
Just after 1:45 a.m., as the off-duty correctional officer waited at a red light in Richmond Hill, the male on the motorcycle pulled up next to him.
The two men got into a verbal dispute, at which point the motorcyclist shot him in the left temple and sped away, the New York Daily News reported.
A New York City medic responding to another fatal shooting three blocks away noticed Correctional Officer Narain slumped over the steering wheel of his 2013 Honda Accord, and rushed to his aid.
The correctional officer was transported to Jamaica Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
"What we know is while on the way to work, Mr. Narain stopped at a local store to buy food," New York Police Deputy Chief Joe Kenny told WABC. "After this purchase, he has two encounters with an unknown male on a motorcycle. Officer Narain was shot shortly after the second encounter with the unknown male on the motorcycle."
“There was a very short exchange of conversation, very short, and then the shot was fired," said New York Police Chief Bill Aubrey told WNBC.
Police said Correctional Officer Narain was armed at the time of the altercation, but that he did not draw his weapon, WABC reported.
The gunman has not been apprehended, and the Correction Officers’ Benevolent Association has offered a $10,000 reward for any information that results in the suspect’s arrest.
Correctional Officer Narain served at Rikers Island for two years.
"The entire Department of Corrections is grieving this morning upon learning of the tragic shooting death of an off-duty correction officer," Department of Corrections Commissioner Cynthia Brann told WABC. "My deepest sympathy and heartfelt condolences go out to the officer's family, friends, and colleagues throughout the department.”
Correctional Officer Narain had planned to enroll in the city’s police academy, his cousin, Kevin Ramdhani, told WNBC.
“He loved his job,” Ramdhani said, according to WCBS.
Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of New York City Correctional Officer Johnathan Narain, both blood and blue. Thank you for your service.
Rest easy, hero. We’ll hold the line from here.