Amtrak stabbing suspect charged with 4 felony counts, each carry maximum life sentence

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NILES, Mich.--- Police have confirmed that 4 people were stabbed on an Amtrak train in Niles, Michigan around 7:10 p.m. on Friday evening.

The incident happened on Amtrak's Blue Water line, a daily service that travels between Chicago and Port Huron.

The suspect, Michael Darnell Williams, 44, of Saginaw, Mich., was traveling alone and appeared to be agitated according to witness statements from passengers on the train.

Williams was booked on Saturday on four counts of assault with intent to murder. Each count carries a possible life sentence.

Williams is being held on a $1 million, cash only bond.

Niles Police were en route to the train station when they were told Williams stood up and assaulted the four victims.

According to Niles Police Chief Jim Millin, officers responding to a report of a suspicious person on the train arrived when the attack was already underway.

Millin says they stormed the train and used a stun gun to subdue Williams.

We are told the victims are one female passenger, two male passengers and the conductor. They are all in stable condition.

Eye witnesses on the train have been speaking out about what the scene was like on board the train, many saying it was a surreal ride.

"I was in a mob of 4 people, and at one point people were falling down and people are getting back up," said Caitlin Cipri, from Chicago. "It was such a blur just trying to get to an exit."

Tyler Vandermolen, who was sitting ten rows from where the stabbing occurred, says, "You see the police getting a lot for bad press with the stuff going on around the country these days, but you got to give it up for these guys they were there in under... within seconds of this happening it was pretty incredible that they may have saved some lives today."

The train is now stationed at the Niles Train Station.

Many passengers were picked up by friends and family but some were simply too far from their final destinations.

The Salvation Army was called in and Amtrak worked through the night to provide buses and alternate train routes for those stranded passengers.

Amtrak released this statement after the incident:

The safety of our passengers and employees is Amtrak's highest priority.

Amtrak has a robust and layered approach to safety that involves multiple measures including the presence of the Amtrak Police and K9 at hubs and partnerships with local and federal law enforcement to respond and assist along our routes. The APD conducts random and periodic train rides and works with federal and local intelligence groups to ensure our passengers’ security.

Knives are specifically prohibited on Amtrak trains and the APD perform random screening and inspections of passenger baggage and other personal items to further ensure safety.

The company, Amtrak Police, and the Union will assist local law enforcement as the investigation into this act of violence moves forward.

Last night’s event doesn’t occur regularly on Amtrak, however we encourage passengers to be aware of their surroundings and if they see something suspicious to notify the Amtrak Police by calling 911, 1-800-331-0008 or texting to APD11 (27311).