Retiree charged in Amtrak conductor shooting in Illinois
Retired federal law enforcement officer Edward Klein, 79, of East Allis, Wisconsin is charged with attempted murder in the shooting of conductor Michael Case, 45.
Edward Klein, a retired federal law enforcement officer, was charged in the May 16 shooting of an Amtrak train conductor in Naperville, Illinois
A retired federal law enforcement officer is accused of shooting and seriously injuring an Amtrak train conductor because he wasn't allowed to de-board early at a suburban Chicago stop.
Prosecutors have charged Edward Klein, 79, of East Allis, Wisconsin with attempted murder and aggravated battery charges, the DuPage County state's attorney's office said in a statement on Friday. He was ordered held in lieu of $1.5million bail.
Klein allegedly shot an Amtrak conductor, identified as 45-year-old Michael Case, who was standing on the platform in Naperville, Illinois on Tuesday at 4:45pm. After he tried to crawl out a window, passengers subdued him.
The retired Klein had worked for the Federal Protective Services, a branch of Homeland Security responsible for protecting federal buildings. He resides in a suburban Milwaukee independent-living facility, prosecutors told the court.
Michael Case (left) is married to Sara (right) and has four children; he is in stable but very serious condition
The shooting happened as the train was on the platform at the Naperville station in Illinois
As for why he shot the conductor, prosecutors said that the elderly man told investigators: 'I had built up all this anger and I blew him away.'
The 45-year-old conductor, from Homewood, Illinois, underwent emergency surgery and remains in intensive care. He suffered damage to his liver and pancreas and was using a breathing tube, reported The Chicago Tribune.
Passengers said Klein was exhibiting 'disturbing' behavior before the incident and reportedly staff had arranged to have someone pick him up in Chicago as his behavior was so alarming
Amtrak conductor Michael Case (above) is a former Navy man and father of four
'He's the kind of guy if I got backed into a corner, I would want him on my side,' friend Jenny Gipson told NBC 5 Chicago.
Klein had gotten off a westbound train in Kansas City, Missouri, Tuesday after he aborted plans to visit a friend in Las Vegas, state's attorney spokesman Paul Darrah said, citing prosecutors at the hearing. He then boarded the Chicago-bound train.
But when conductors said he couldn't disembark in Naperville and had a stop to go before reaching the destination on his ticket, Chicago, he pulled out a revolver, leaned from a train window and fired once; he hit the conductor standing outside in the abdomen, prosecutors said.
Amtrak staff had been concerned for his welfare prior to the Naperville stop and helped arrange for someone to pick him up in Chicago and take him to Milwaukee, the state's attorney spokesman said.
Klein reportedly lived in an independent living facility at VMP Manor Park (above) in West Allis
After Klein fired, he tried to climb out a window and other passengers and train personnel restrained him until police arrived, prosecutors said.
At the hearing on Friday, Klein didn't appear to grasp the seriousness of the situation and was under the impression he would be leaving soon, said the outlet. He reportedly declined a public defender, saying 'I don't need one if I'm leaving.'
A status hearing is set for June 12.
Klein lived in VMP Manor Park, which houses more than 500 people in independent, assisted, and skilled nursing facilities. Klein reportedly lived in an independent facility, meaning he could come and go as he pleased.
'He's lived here about a year and a half, so he's somewhat new to our campus,' Sean Callahan, the center's director of strategic initiatives, who could not say whether he has family due to privacy laws.
Naperville police Cmdr. Lou Cammiso said the suspect's mental and emotional state wouldn't be discussed until his court hearing.
Passengers, however, said he displayed 'disturbing behavior' on the train to Chicago.
Klein had also already had his concealed weapon permit revoked, and had pulled his weapon during two other altercations, said prosecutors, but did not elaborate. It was unclear why he would still have a gun.
Amtrak only does random screening of passengers and bags, said spokesman Marc Magliari. Many stops are unstaffed, leaving passengers to board without being checked.
Guns are not allowed in carry-on baggage but can be checked and stored under certain conditions, he said.
Magliari called the incident 'highly unusual.'
A woman who was waiting to board the train at the time said there were no announcements on the platform as to what had happened, according to NBC 5.