Cops: Man with gun on LIRR train is off-duty cop

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Police who stopped and searched a westbound Long Island Rail Road train in Merrick Wednesday after a 911 caller reported seeing a man with a gun at a nearby station found that the gun-toting passenger was an off-duty police officer.

A Nassau County police spokesman told Newsday "the passenger was an off-duty cop," but could not specify the agency that employed the officer. "It was verified he was a cop" and the train was released, the spokesman said.

Police said the call to 911 was received at about 8 a.m.

"A person thought they saw someone with a gun at the Wantagh station," a Nassau police spokesman said. "The man was supposed to be in a van in the parking lot and when officers arrived the van was empty and the train had left the station."

That train was then stopped by Metropolitan Transportation Authority and Nassau police at Merrick station, railroad spokesman Aaron Donovan said. The stop and search caused brief minor delays on the Babylon Branch.

The LIRR said the 7:48 a.m. train from Wantagh due at Penn Station at 8:40 a.m. was being held at Merrick station.

The 7:29 a.m. train from Babylon due Atlantic Terminal at 8:43 a.m. was being held east of Merrick station because of the investigation.

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