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MTA unveils memorial to slain motorman Garrett Goble at Brooklyn subway station

The widow of Garrett Goble (left) and his mother Vicki (right), with his two children, in front of a new mural dedicated to the transit hero in the Flatbush Avenue-Brooklyn College station on May 24.
Photo by Mark Hallum

A new, eight-foot long mural at the Flatbush Avenue-Brooklyn College subway station pays tribute to slain motorman Garrett Goble, who was killed in an arson attack in the line of duty last March.

Goble, a 36-year-old father-of-two, was killed on March 27, 2020 as he saw the public off a 2 train that an arsonist had set ablaze. 

In an emotional dedication ceremony on Monday, Goble’s mother, wife and two children remembered him as they helped the Metropolitan Transportation Authority unveil a plaque recognizing his service.

“He tried that day, that morning to get to safety. He tried so hard because that was my son, he gave his best in whatever he did,” said Goble’s mother, Vicki.

Goble got good grades in school, she said, and went on to graduate college on the dean’s list with a bachelor’s degree in science.

“He had an easy, secure way about him,” his mother said. “He had swag, he was handsome, but humble. His friends leaned on him.”

Goble’s widow, Delilah, said she wanted her late husband to be remembered for more than just his profession.

“I want people to remember him for his job as a train operator, but I also want them to remember Garrett as a wonderful husband, son and father — a man who worked the night shift, but who never missed one of his son’s events at school,” she said. “Many times, straight from the overnight shift at work, he would come home and take care of [their youngest son, Hunter]. He never missed opportunities to be with his children.”

Goble’s shocking death came as the city’s transit system suddenly became devoid of the riding public due to COVID-19. But, at around 3 am on March 27, an arsonist set fire to a shopping cart at the 110th Street station, engulfing the train in flames.

The subway operator was pronounced dead at Mount Sinai Hospital after the fire, and more than a dozen passengers were also injured in the fire.

Goble was not the only one in the MTA workforce to perish during the pandemic. Up to 164 MTA employees died of COVID-19 over the course of the health crisis, a fact that has proven painful for interim New York City Transit President Sarah Feinberg.

“It’s been a long year for us,” she said Monday. “It’s hard to believe everything that we have gone through to get to this day.”

Feinberg appeared to fight back tears when addressing Goble’s family.

“Delilah and Vicki, I hope that you can feel how much Garrett was loved by all of us and respected by all of us,” she said. “I hope you will feel it when you see the mural downstairs and when your family visits.”

The newly installed memorial features a portrait of Goble crafted by Brooklyn artist BK Foxx, with the word “Hero,” at the station nearest his family’s home.

This story first appeared on AMNY.com.

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