'I blew him away': Retiree charged in Amtrak shooting
WHEATON, Ill. – A retired federal law enforcement officer from Wisconsin told investigators he shot and seriously injured an Amtrak train conductor because he wasn't allowed to de-board early at a suburban Chicago stop, prosecutors said Friday.
Edward Klein, 79, of West Allis, Wisconsin, appeared in a DuPage County bond court hearing Friday on attempted murder and aggravated battery charges, the DuPage County state's attorney's office said in a statement. He was ordered held in lieu of $1.5 million bail.
Klein 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.
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.
A prosecutor quoted Klein as telling investigators: "I had built up all this anger and I blew him away," the Chicago Tribune reported.
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.
After Klein fired, other passengers and train personnel restrained him until police arrived, prosecutors said. The 45-year-old conductor underwent emergency surgery and remains in intensive care, prosecutors said.
Klein said Friday he didn't need a public defender and it wasn't clear if he's since acquired an attorney. A status hearing is set for June 12.
This story has been corrected to show that Klein is from West Allis not, as prosecutors said in their statement, from East Allis.