Taylor Wilson, 26, faces charges in federal court arising from an incident in an Amtrak train en route to St. Louis through rural Nebraska last Oct. 22. Arrested after he was found “playing with the controls,” Wilson was later found to have ties with white supremacist groups and has shown interest in “killing black people,” according to the FBI.
An Amtrak train was traveling through rural Nebraska last Oct. 22 when it came to a sudden, surprising stop. Even the conductors were unsure what had happened, McClatchy Newspapers reports. “We lunged forward in our seats and all the power went out, it went completely black in the train car,” passenger Bobbie Garris told NTV. “We could smell something burning and I’m going to guess that was the brakes.” When train workers noticed the eastbound California Zephyr braking at 2 a.m., the assistant conductor went searching for the cause. He found Taylor Wilson, 26, sitting at the engineer’s seat in the train’s follow engine. Wilson had broken into a restricted area of the train and was “playing with the controls,” according to the FBI, until workers and others were able to stop him and subdue, the Lincoln Journal Star reports.
Wilson’s train had been traveling from Sacramento, Ca., to St. Louis with nearly 200 passengers on board. At the time of the incident, Wilson was charged in district court with use of a weapon to commit a felony and criminal mischief. Now the FBI says that Wilson, of St. Charles, Mo., has ties to a white supremacist group and has shown interest in “killing black people,” according to a court affidavit unsealed this week. The FBI also said Wilson could have been planning to commit criminal acts or acts of terrorism on the train. Wilson has been charged in federal court with terrorism attacks and other violence against railroad carriers and mass transportation systems, the Omaha World-Herald reports.