Naperville police have arrested a suspect in the shooting of a 45-year-old Amtrak conductor late Tuesday afternoon, and authorities say passengers may have saved lives by detaining the gunman.
The conductor, from South suburban Homewood, was taken to Edward Hospital in Naperville with injuries that are not life-threatening, officials said.
Naperville police Cmdr. Louis Cammiso said passengers held the suspect, a man in his 70s from Wisconsin, until police arrived. The suspect had a disagreement with the conductor about 4:45 p.m., pulled out a handgun and began shooting out the train window, Cammiso said. The conductor was shot once in the torso.
"The suspect was on the train; the victim was off the train," said Cammiso, adding that authorities recovered a gun and there was no danger to the public.
"Not knowing the intention of the suspect, not knowing what further acts he was capable of, I think it was key that the other passengers did restrain him for police. I think that possibly could have saved lives," Cammiso said.
All inbound and outbound trains on the Metra BNSF line were stopped as police investigated the shooting at the Naperville Metra station on 4th Avenue east of Washington Street.
The conductor was "conscious and alert" when officials took him to the hospital, Cammiso said.
"An Amtrak employee sustained a nonlife-threatening gunshot wound. We are cooperating fully with local authorities, who have a suspect in custody," Amtrak spokeswoman Christina E. Leeds said.
Metra was estimating a 10- to 60-minute delay while police investigate. No Metra employees were involved. Pace buses were brought in to transport passengers around the Naperville station.
Amtrak will release more information as it becomes available, Leeds said. The DuPage County sheriff's office declined to comment.
Mike Leming, of Lake Forest, California, was on his way to Chicago, then to Boston, in the rear Amtrak car when he heard from other passengers about the shooting. Leming said an argument about luggage led to the shooting.
Conductors and police asked Leming and other passengers if they saw or heard anything suspicious leading up to the shooting.
"It was just regular people riding the train," Leming said.
Amtrak officials announced over the station's public address that police still needed to interview passengers who possibly saw something before they could leave.
The announcer said the priority was to get buses for passengers seeking a connecting ride to Cleveland, then "sleepers," and then everyone else.