SEATTLE — BNSF Railway has announced it will pay $5,000 for information leading to the arrest of the suspect or suspects who fired at least 15 shots at one of its freight trains west of Quincy at 8:15 p.m. Sept. 24.
Gus Melonas, spokesman for the Fort Worth, Texas-based railroad, said neither of the train’s two-man crew were injured in the incident, which began as the westbound train approached Trinidad, eight miles west of Quincy at Bear Springs Road.
The train crew — engineer and conductor — observed a dark sedan parked near the tracks, Melonas said.
The crew couldn’t identify the make or model of the car in the darkness, but noticed it was a dark color, had oval-shaped headlights and a square brake light in the middle of the back window.
Someone in the car fired a .22-caliber firearm at the train as it passed, Melonas said. The bullets hit the first of the train’s three engines below the window level.
As the train continued west, the sedan gave chase, passed under a railroad underpass and fired again at the train, again hitting the first engine, Melonas said.
As the train continued west and approached Highway 28, about 22 miles from Wenatchee, the crew noticed the same vehicle pull off the highway onto a dirt road and again fire at the train.
Within a three mile stretch, the suspects’ bullets hit the first engine 15 times — 13 on the engineer’s side (right side facing forward) and twice on the conductor’s side (left side), Melonas said.
The train was carrying “general merchandise,” Melonas said, adding that investigators don’t know who the suspects were or the motive of the shootings.
The railroad is working with the Grant County Sheriff’s Office, Washington State Patrol and Douglas County Sheriff’s Office, he said.
Investigators ask anyone with information about the incident to call the railroad at 1-800-832-5452.
“This is an extremely rare occurrence and extremely dangerous,” Melonas said.