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updated: 10/11/2017 6:34 PM

Man unfit to stand trial in Naperville Amtrak shooting

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  • Edward Klein

    Edward Klein

 
 

A 79-year-old Wisconsin man charged with the May shooting of an Amtrak conductor in Naperville has been found mentally unfit to stand trial.

Edward Klein of West Allis, Wisconsin, is being held on $1.5 million bail. Klein is charged with two counts of attempted first-degree murder and one count each of aggravated battery, aggravated discharge of a firearm and aggravated unlawful use of a weapon.

Judge Daniel Guerin ruled Klein unfit Wednesday after reviewing doctors' reports of their evaluations of Klein from June and September.

Guerin said one report diagnosed Klein with an impaired cognition disorder and dementia while the second said Klein suffers from a major neuro-cognitive disorder.

Neither disorder, the reports state, are likely to be cured by medication. One report also indicated Klein is "unlikely to be restored (to fitness) at any point in the future."

A discharge hearing is scheduled for Dec. 18.

Prosecutors said once a determination is made, the judge will decide whether to involuntarily commit Klein to a mental health facility and for how long.

Prosecutors alleged Klein, who had served in Federal Protective Services, a branch of the Department of Homeland Security, was unhappy with his situation at an assisted-living facility and made plans to take a train to visit a friend in Las Vegas. But at some point on May 15, Klein got the attention of a conductor and told him he no longer wanted to go to Vegas.

They said Klein became upset when he was told he couldn't leave the train until Kansas City, Missouri, where he could get a return ticket to Milwaukee.

Klein did just that, but not before causing a disturbance over a delay in Kansas City. At some point, Amtrak staff members realized Klein may need assistance and contacted other officials to meet him at Chicago's Union Station and assist him in getting back to Milwaukee and ultimately to his living facility.

Prosecutors said the train made a scheduled stop May 16 in Naperville and Klein became argumentative and attempted to get off the train.

The conductor, 45-year-old Michael Case, who was aware there was a plan in place to escort Klein at Union Station, closed the train doors to keep the "enraged and belligerent" Klein on the train. At that point, Klein reached out an open window and fired a single shot at Case with a handgun before he was restrained by fellow passengers, prosecutors said.

Prosecutors said Klein told police he threw the gun out the window, but it was later found in his pocket. They said Klein told police, "I built up all this anger and I just blew him away."

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