Mental fitness of man charged in Naperville Amtrak shooting questioned
The arraignment of a 79-year-old Wisconsin man charged last month with shooting an Amtrak conductor in Naperville has been put on hold as his mental status is determined.
Edward Klein of West Allis, Wisconsin, is being held on $1.5 million bail. Klein recently was indicted on two charges of attempted first-degree murder and one count each of aggravated battery, aggravated discharge of a firearm and aggravated unlawful use of a weapon.
Prosecutors and Public Defender Jeff York agreed Wednesday to delay his arraignment as prosecutors review Klein's recently completed mental fitness evaluation.
York declined to discuss the specific findings in the evaluation after Wednesday's court appearance but said he will be seeking a hearing on Klein's mental fitness based upon the report. That hearing likely will be scheduled at Klein's July 31 court appearance.
Prosecutors said Klein, who had served in Federal Protective Services, a branch of the Department of Homeland Security, was unhappy with his living situation at an assisted-living facility and had made plans to take a train to visit a friend in Las Vegas. But at some point 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 exit 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."
Case's doctors have said his condition has progressed to the point where he may soon be released from the hospital to a rehabilitation facility.