A murder suspect traveling from California on a Chicago-bound train was fatally shot in a shootout with Amtrak police on a platform at Union Station on Tuesday evening, officials said.
Amtrak police were waiting on the platform around 5 p.m. for the train, having been notified by authorities in California that an individual on the train heading for Chicago had multiple pending warrants, including one for murder, Amtrak spokesman Marc Magliari said at a news conference at the station Tuesday night.
When the man saw the uniformed officers on the platform, he took off running, injuring an Amtrak employee and then opening fire on the officers, Magliari said.
“He’s running towards us, he’s running towards us, duck, cover,” an officer radioed.
One of the Amtrak officers returned fire and struck the man, Magliari said. The Amtrak employee suffered minor injuries, and an officer also was taken to the hospital for evaluation, he said.
Magliari could not say whether officers had cleared the platform before the train pulled up. Several witnesses who had been waiting for their trains in the waiting area adjacent to the platforms said they rushed out of the station to the street after seeing other bystanders and Amtrak employees running from the platforms, shouting “active shooter” and “get out.”
About 5:30 p.m., paramedics responded to a call of a man who was shot at Union Station, 225 S. Canal St., according to Chicago Fire Department spokesman Larry Merritt.
The man was transported to Northwestern Memorial Hospital in traumatic arrest, Merritt said. He later died from a gunshot wound to the chest, Chicago police said.
The suspect’s weapon was recovered, police said.
Amtrak and the Chicago Police Department are investigating the incident jointly.
Another man was taken to the University of Chicago Medical Center, where he was in good condition with lacerations to the face, police said. Two other men, with unknown injuries, were also transported to Rush University Medical Center, where they were stabilized.
Train traffic was temporarily halted because of “ongoing police activity” but has resumed moving with residual delays as of 6:30 p.m., according to an Amtrak Alerts Twitter account.
UPDATE: Trains have resumed moving through Chicago (CHI). Expect residual delays through the area.— Amtrak Alerts (@AmtrakAlerts) August 24, 2021
No other details from authorities were immediately available.
Train passenger Alicia Gainey said she had been waiting for a train to Elkhart, Ind., when she heard people running inside the station shouting.
As she queued up to board her train about an hour after the shooting, Gainey, said she was tired of gun violence.
“It’s crazy. This happens everywhere, all the time,” she said.
Stephanie Bommarito, of Rochester Hills, Michigan, was in the restroom when she got a string of harried texts from her husband, Philip.
“It was awful,” she said. “(The texts said) ‘Get out … active shooter,’ and I’m trying to get out of the stall,” said Bommarito, whose husband had left the train station with their two children, Mia, 9, and Leo, 7.
She said people still were walking casually into the station as she rushed out the doors, and heard nothing on the public address warning that there had been a shooting inside. She met her family on the street, and they waited outside for an all-clear announcement, and wound up missing their 5:50 p.m. train to Detroit.
“I was just worried about my kids and what kind of trauma they might be experiencing,” Stephanie Bommarito said of the harrowing final hours of a family trip to the city. “My daughter said ‘This would be a good thing to bring up at show-and-tell,’ and I said, ‘I don’t think the fourth grade needs to hear about this. Show them your I Love Chicago key chain.’”
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