Posts Tagged ‘Amtrak shooting’

Amtrak Conductor Testifies He was in Shock That Passenger Shot Him Last May at Naperville Station

December 21, 2017

The Amtrak conductor who was shot by a passenger last May near Chicago said in court this week that he was “in shock” when his assailant pulled out a gun and shot him.

Michael Case testified during a discharge hearing for the alleged gunman, Edward Klein.

A judge earlier had determined that Klein was not fit to stand trial, but DuPage County judge Jeff McKay will determine if the 80-year-old Klein will be acquitted or that there is sufficient evidence to prove his guilt.

If the latter, Klein would likely be sent to a state mental health facility. He would not face a prison sentence because of his mental health. McKay said on Wednesday that he will announce his decision on Jan. 5.

Testifying in court, Case, 46, of Homewood, Illinois, said he was trying to help an elderly passengers aboard the eastbound Southwest Chief when the man opened fire.

Case said he doesn’t remember if he felt pain after being shot once in the abdomen.

The shooting occurred last May during a scheduled station stop in Naperville, Illinois.

Medical professionals who have examined Klein have said he is displaying dementia-like symptoms and is unlikely to regain mental fitness.

Case testified that Klein seemed “discombobulated” when he entered a sleeping car and asked where he could find the library.

Klein was ticketed to travel to Milwaukee with a connection at Chicago Union Station. Case said he prevented Klein from disembarking in Naperville because he knew he was traveling to Milwaukee.

Case said he had unloaded baggage and when he returned to the doorway of a Superliner car he said Klein was standing inside, holding a snub-nosed revolver, and showing “a look of anger.”

After being shot, Case said he turned and ran a short distance. A passer-by and station agent came to his aid while others wrestled Klein to the ground and kept him immobile until police arrived.

Naperville police Officer Anthony Cimilucca took Klein into custody and recovered a gun from him.

Cimilucca testified that Klein said he was angry because he was prevented from leaving the train.

“I was so frustrated,” Klein said on video recorded in the backseat of Cimilucca’s squad car. “I had no alternative,” Klein said at another point, later adding, “I’m not crazy, OK?”

Case was hospitalized for two months and will have another surgery in January.

He said in court this week that he hopes that Klein is placed where he can get help but not allowed to leave. “I really want to put this behind me — in the rear view mirror,” Case said.

During closing arguments, assistant state’s attorney Michael Fisher described the incident as a no good deed goes unpunished case.

“Case was simply trying to do the right thing by helping an elderly man get off at the right train stop, and he paid dearly for it,” Fisher said.

Assistant Public Defender Jen Maples called the shooting the result of a “general, unfocused chaos.”

She said prosecutors had not provided sufficient evidence of intent, a key element of an attempted murder charge, and said that mental evaluations done on Klein after he was arrested showed him to be “an incredibly confused man suffering from neuro-cognitive disorder.”

Wisconsin Man Charged With Shooting Amtrak Conductor Deemed by Judge to be Mentally Unfit to Stand Trial

October 14, 2017

A Wisconsin man charged with shooting an Amtrak conductor has been ruled to be mentally unfit to stand trial.

Edward Klein, 79, of West Allis, Wisconsin, stands accused of shooting the conductor in Naperville, Illinois, on May 18.

DuPage County Judge Judge Daniel Guerin this week accepted a doctor’s statement that Klein is suffering from a major neurocognitive disorder, possibly Alzheimer’s disease.

One report said that Klein has an impaired cognition disorder and dementia while a second report said he suffers from a major neuro-cognitive disorder. The reports concluded that neither disorder is likely to be cured by medication.

A physician said in one report Klein is not oriented in time, place or situation and would be unable to recall details in his defense. Judge Guerin set a discharge hearing for Dec. 18.

During the hearing prosecutors said Klein could be acquitted, declared not guilty by reason of insanity, or declared not guilty due to being unable to stand trial.

Klein remains in police custody and the court could decide to have him involuntarily committed to a mental facility for up to two years.

Police have said Klein told them he shot Amtrak conductor Michael Case because he would not allow him to disembark in Naperville from the eastbound Southwest Chief.

Klein was ticketed to travel to Milwaukee via Chicago Union Station.

Case was critically injured when he was shot in the abdomen and hospitalized at Edward Hospital for 10 weeks.

Prosecutors have charged Klein with attempted first-degree murder and several weapons charges.

Suspect in Amtrak Shooting May be Unfit for Trial

July 7, 2017

Prosecutors and attorneys representing a Wisconsin man charged in connection with the shooting of an Amtrak conductor have agreed to delay the suspect’s arraignment as officials have indicated that he is likely to be ruled to be mentally unfit to stand trial.

Klein

Edward Klein, 79, of West Allis, Wisconsin, has been charged with attempted murder and aggravated battery in the May 16 shooting of an Amtrak conductor during a station stop in Naperville, Illinois.

The delay in the arraignment will give attorneys in the case more time to review a mental fitness evaluation that Klein recently underwent.

Public defender Jeff York said he will seek a mental fitness hearing for Klein, who is being held on $1.5 million bail in the DuPage County Jail. He will next be in court on July 31.

York contends that Klein is unfit for trail and that his mental health issues may not respond to treatment.

The attorney made the assertion during a proceeding in a late June hearing in DuPage County Court.

Klein was silent during the court hearing and sat in a wheelchair used to transport him from the jail.

Prosecutors have contended that Klein fired at the conductor of Amtrak’s Southwest Chief after Amtrak personnel refused to allow Klein to disembark at Naperville, which is the final stop before Chicago Union Station.

Klein was ticketed to Chicago where he was to make a connection to another Amtrak train to Milwaukee.

News media accounts have quoted officials as saying that Amtrak personnel aboard train No. 4 were concerned about Klein’s behavior during his journey from Kansas City and were keeping watch over him.

Amtrak Conductor Continues Recovery

June 21, 2017

The Amtrak conductor shot in Naperville, Illinois, last month continues to make steady progress and doctors are optimistic that he will make a full recovery.

Michael Case, 45, remains hospitalized, but has made enough progress that he might not need another surgery that doctors expected to have to perform.

“The bottom line, he should be able to eat, he should be able to function, he should be able to work; we’re a long ways away from that, and his condition although fairly stable, could take a turn,” said Dr. David Piazza, the Medical Director of Trauma Surgery at Edward Hospital.

However, Piazza cautioned that a devastating infection or blood clots, or pneumonia could still hamper Case’s recovery and even take his life.

Piazza said Case faces six to eight weeks of rehab and will eventually have a final surgery in about six to nine months.

Case, a conductor on the inbound Southwest Chief, was shot on May 16 while standing on the platform of the Naperville Metra Station.

Edward Klein, 79, of Wisconsin has been charged in connection with the shooting. Klein is being held on a $1.5 million bond and will appear in court on June 28.

He has been changed with attempted murder and aggravated battery.

Man Charged in Amtrak Conductor Shooting

May 22, 2017

As an Amtrak conductor continues to recover from being shot by a disgruntled passenger last week, a retired law enforcement official now living in Wisconsin.

Edward Klein, 79, of West Allis, Wisconsin, has been charged in DuPage County, Illinois, with attempted murder and aggravated battery charges. During a bond hearing on Friday, Klein was ordered held in lieu of $1.5 million bail.

Edward Klein

Klein is charged with shooting Amtrak conductor Michael Case as he worked the platform during a stop in Naperville, Illinois, on May 16.

Authorities have said Klein was angry because he wasn’t allowed to disembark from the eastbound Southwest Chief at Naperville.

Prosecutors said Klein fired a single shot from a .38-caliber Smith and Wesson revolver through an open window of the train.

According to a police report, Klein was ticketed to go to Chicago. When he was told he couldn’t get off at Naperville, which is located 28 miles west of Chicago Union Station, Klein allegedly pulled out a revolver, leaned from the  train window and fired, hitting Case in the abdomen.

The Chicago Tribune reported that Klein told investigators: “I had built up all this anger, and I blew him away.”

News reports said that Klein once worked for the Federal Protective Services, a branch of Homeland Security responsible for protecting federal buildings. He lived in an independent living facility in the Milwaukee region.

In a court hearing, prosecutors said Klein had been traveling to Las Vegas to visit a friend, but instead got off an Amtrak train in Kansas City, Missouri. He later boarded Amtrak No. 4 for Chicago in Kansas City.

Amtrak personnel who had become concerned for Klein’s welfare had helped arrange for someone to pick him up in Chicago to take him home, authorities said.

After the shooting, Klein tried to get off the train by climbing through a window, but other passengers and Amtrak personnel restrained Klein until police arrived.

Klein said in court that he didn’t need a public defender but didn’t indicate if he had hired an attorney. A status hearing will be held on June 12.

In the meantime, Case continues to recover in a hospital where doctors say he is improving but his body is still responding to the effects of the shooting.

The bullet wound caused injuries to multiple organs and he underwent an arduous six hours of surgery at Edward Hospital in Naperville.

“His injuries are stabilized, but the body’s response to injuries is still going,” said Dr. David Piazza, trauma director at Edward Hospital. “He was critically injured and he’s recovering from that state at this point. We are heading in the right direction, but he has a long way to go.”

Case has been sedated and is on a ventilator. His wife, Sara Case, told reporters in Chicago that she has not been able to talk to her husband since his surgery.

However, he did speak with her by phone before the surgery. “He just said to me ‘I love you, I love you, I love you,'” Sara Case said. “You never think your husband is going to go to work and be shot.”

Michael Case, 45, has worked at Amtrak for about a decade and is a father of four. He and Sara Case have been married for nine years.

Case’s family says the outpouring of support from friends, family and even strangers has been overwhelming.

In another development, a witness to the shooting said that a Naperville station worker did little to let her and other passengers seek cover in a secure area.

The witness told a Chicago television station that shortly after the Southwest Chief pulled into the station, she and others heard a loud pop.

The woman, who was waiting for a Metra train bound for Chicago, said she saw the Amtrak conductor fall to the ground.

“I heard a loud pop, looked over to see what it was, and I saw what looked like a conductor fall towards the train station. And I was going to go help him when I realized it was gunshots,” she said.

Metra passengers alerted the Amtrak agent at the station and looked for cover, unaware that the gunman was aboard the train.

“She [worker] was trying to open the door,” the witness said. “When she opened it, we tried to follow her in because we would be protected there, because we were scared. And she closed the door and locked it, and said, ‘You can’t come in here.’ And I said, ‘What are we supposed to do?’ And she said, ‘Go to the bathroom.’ ”

The witness said employees seemed unprepared to deal with an emergency situation.

In response, an Amtrak spokesperson said, “This was traumatic for everyone involved. We’ll look at lessons learned from the incident.”