A Queens biker and MTA employee accused of fatally shooting an off-duty city Correction Officer following a road rage clash has pleaded guilty to manslaughter and will spend the next two decades in prison, prosecutors said Thursday.
Gifford Hunter admitted to opening fire and killing Jonathan Narain in Richmond Hill on Sept. 14, 2018, officials said. That admission will mean up to 23 years behind bars.
Narain, 27, was on his way to work at the Anna M. Kross jail on Rikers Island when Hunter pulled up next to him on a motorcycle at a red light on 103rd Ave. and 120th St. around 1:45 p.m.
Moments before, Narain had made a U-turn to get food at a nearby store and had a brief encounter with Hunter.
The two exchanged more words at the traffic light, then Hunter pulled a gun and fired, striking Narain in the left temple..
A city medic, responding to an unrelated shooting nearby, found Narain slumped over the steering wheel of his red Honda Accord. Medics rushed Narain to Jamaica Hospital where he died.
Hunter was arrested for the killing two days later and charged with murder, weapons possession and criminal use of a firearm. Before his arrest, he worked for the MTA as a bus maintenance worker in the Bronx. He’s had six previous contacts with police, all of which are sealed, authorities said.
“A petty traffic dispute led to the death of a corrections officer,” Acting Queens District Attorney John Ryan said Thursday. “In pleading guilty, the defendant has now admitted to this senseless act of violence that claimed the life of a hard-working family man.”
“The officer’s loved ones will forever mourn his absence from their lives, but I am hopeful that knowing the perpetrator of this horrible crime will be punished brings them some comfort,” Ryan said.