The Amtrak conductor shot by a passenger Tuesday has undergone surgery and is now on a breathing tube as a community rallies around his wife and four children.
Michael Case, 45, a Navy veteran from Homewood, was shot in the torso, according to Amtrak and police. The suspect, a man in his 70s from Wisconsin, fired from the window of a train, according to police. The alleged shooter was found by police being restrained by passengers on the train, authorities said.
A handgun was recovered from the scene, according to Naperville police Cmdr. Lou Cammiso.
“The conductor had stepped off the train and when the suspect reached through the window and shot him,” Cammiso told reporters.
His wife’s co-workers at the 5th Quarter Restaurant in Homewood have set up a GoFundMe page to help with his medical expenses.
“Your prayers go out to them, it’s gotta be tough on all of them,” Steven Nemitz, the restauratn’s owner, told NBC 5.
Case’s wife voice her thanks for the support in a Facebook post shared with NBC 5.
“I just want to extend my most deeply felt gratitude,” the post reads. I have been truly touched by the outpouring of love, support, prayers and thoughts.”
Police do not yet know of a motive for the shooting and the suspect is being held in the Naperville police station.
Meanwhile, questions have been raised by a witness who says she assisted passengers get to safety while employees at the train station seemed unprepared.
Amtrak says it will look at the incident to see if there are lessons to be learned. There are recommended federal guidelines to keep rail passengers safe. Rail systems are urged to train for evacuation, panic prevention and communication.
Metra says its part of the office was unstaffed that afternoon.
The Amtrak train, called the Southwest Chief, runs from Los Angeles to Chicago and was carrying 235 passengers at the time.
Per Amtrak policy, unloaded weapons are allowed in checked bags with advanced notice only. Having a loaded gun in a passenger car is considered a violation, according to an Amtrak spokesperson.
Published at 12:05 AM CDT on May 19, 2017 | Updated at 12:11 AM CDT on May 19, 2017