Naperville Amtrak shooting witness says station worker did little to help

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A witness to the shooting of an Amtrak train conductor at Napeville station said railroad personnel did not act to protect peopel in the station as she would have expected them to. (WLS)

A witness to the shooting of an Amtrak conductor at a Naperville train station on Tuesday said a station worker did little to let her and other passengers seek cover in a secure area.

The Amtrak Southwest Chief had just pulled into the station when they heard a loud pop. The woman, who asked ABC7 Eyewitness News not to use her name, and her daughter were waiting for a Metra train to take them downtown when they saw the Amtrak conductor, Michael Case, 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.

They quickly alerted the Amtrak agent at the station and looked for cover. At that point they were unaware the gunman was on the train and other passengers had quickly jumped in to hold him down until police arrived. They just knew they could be in danger of being shot themselves.

"She was trying to open the door. 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.

The conductor, 45-year-old Michael Case of Homewood, was shot in the abdomen. He remains hospitalized.

The witness expressed concerned that Amtrak employees seemed unprepared to deal with an emergency situation like this. An Amtrak spokesperson responded, saying, "This was traumatic for everyone involved. We'll look at lessons learned from the incident."

The witness said it was a scary situation and railroad employees did nothing to protect her or make her feel safer.

"As people were coming into the station, I directed them. They were kind of looking at me strangely because, who is this person who is telling me to go to the bathroom, there's been a shooting," she said.

The 70-year-old shooting suspect, from West Allis, Wis., has been held in custody since Tuesday - 48 hours. Police can hold him for up to 72 hours before they must either charge him or release him.

Related Topics:
newsshootingamtraksafetyNaperville
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