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MTA Chair and CEO Lieber and Mayor Adams Honor Frontline Heroes from Brooklyn Subway Incident

Updated April 15, 2022 3:00 p.m.
MTA Heroes Honored Sunset Park

See Photos from Today’s Ceremony 

Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) Chair and CEO Janno Lieber joined New York City Mayor Eric Adams and TWU Local 100 leaders in a ceremony at City Hall to thank the frontline heroes from Tuesday’s Sunset Park subway incident. Transit workers David Artis, Raven Haynes, Joseph Franchi, Dayron Williams and Parla Mejia received proclamations from the City for their heroic actions to get passengers to safety.

“As long as I'm on this job, I want MTA workers to know we have their backs, and so does the governor.  These quick-thinking and caring train crews and bus operator moved riders to safety and kept them away from a potential threat zone,” said Chair Lieber. “I am also grateful that we have a partner like Eric Adams and his team in City Hall. The reason that we are able to breathe a sigh of relief and take this moment to celebrate these amazing MTA workers is because of the work that the NYPD did so quickly to investigate and to locate the suspect, and the mayor’s continuing commitment to visibly policing the subways.” 

“This week New York City showed the entire globe what our city is, and has always been about: courage, heroism, quick-thinking and decisive action,” said Mayor Adams. “As I looked on some of the videos and watched how passengers and employees responded, it clearly showed why this is a special place that we call New York. And most of all, what I saw the most is that we are a community. One community, one city will respond during a moment of tragedy. New Yorkers look out for each other and transit workers, as always, look out for us.” 

“This was an active shooter situation, and conductors and train operators were taking charge, doing what was necessary to get riders out of danger,” said TWU Local 100 Secretary-Treasurer and Safety Director Earl Phillips. “I want to thank the mayor for honoring the members of Transport Workers Union Local 100 and giving them a little bit of the spotlight, which they richly deserve.” 

“I immediately alerted the Rail Control Center of what happened, I told them what I was seeing in the station, opened the doors and thanked God for my partner,” said  Train Operator David Artis. “To the customers that were injured on the platform and stayed, I told them to just stay calm, police and medical are coming on the scene.” 

“My instinct was just to physically get the passengers to safety. My riders were my first concern,” said Train Conductor Raven Haynes. “As long as I am calm and collected, my passengers will be calm and collected, and because of that I was able to get as many people to safety as possible.” 

“This was a unique and harrowing New York experience,” said  Train Operator Joseph Franchi.  “We unfortunately deal with these situations here in New York City because we are always a target. But fortunately, I was in the position to help in any way possible and I feel fortunate we were able to do whatever we could to help the people of this great city feel safe during a time of terror.”  

“Doing the right thing pays off, and my sole focus was to make sure everyone was good,” said  Train Conductor DayRon Williams. “It makes me feel good about the job that I do, and it makes me want to keep doing the job I do for the MTA. Despite some bad apples who unfortunately ride the trains, for the most part, the subway is safe. We should always be vigilant and if you see something, say something, and we will all be safe because of it.” 

“I was told there was a shooting and that’s when my adrenaline kicked in. That day, I worked from five in the morning until midnight, kept the buses moving,” said Bus Operator Parla Mejia. “My main focus was to get my passengers, especially the children, to safety.” 

Artis and Haynes were the  train crew members who helped get passengers to evacuate the Manhattan-bound  train at 36 St station. Franchi and Williams were operating a Brooklyn-bound  train one station away and stopped the train at 25 St station to ensure the train's riders were not headed into a dangerous situation.

Mejia helped get New Yorkers away from the scene, operating a B37 bus that took passengers from the 36 St station.