Armed Neo-Nazi's Amtrak Rampage in Nebraska Meant to 'Save The Train From Black People'

Taylor Michael Wilson
Taylor Michael Wilson plead guilty to a federal terrorism charge after he disabled an Amtrak train. Furnas County Sheriff's Office

The armed neo-Nazi who attacked an Amtrak train as it hurtled through rural Nebraska claimed he "dropped acid" before attempting to "save the train from black people." In a bizarre twist, he had planned to fight alongside ISIS in Syria a year before.

Taylor Michael Wilson, 26, from St. Charles, Missouri, pleaded guilty to a federal terrorism charge over the October 23, 2017 incident, during which he brought a train to a halt by disabling its engine. He also cut the lights, causing panic among its 175 passengers.

According to Wilson's plea agreement, he boarded the train in California carrying a .380 handgun, ammunition, respiratory mask, a hammer, knife, speed loaders, material and identification cards relating to the National Socialist Movement, and a sleeping bag.

With the handgun tucked into his waistband, when the train crossed into Nebraska, Wilson entered its secure engine room. After disabling the train and cutting the lights, emergency alerts went out to Amtrak staff aboard. Scared passengers attempted to escape through windows.

A train conductor found Wilson in the engine compartment. He and another conductor tried to remove and subdue Wilson.

"I'm the conductor now, bitch!" Wilson said. According to the court filing, Wilson reached for his waistband where the handgun was, though conductors kept him from grabbing it. The weapon was later recovered by the first deputy on the scene, though the defendant denied being armed.

Wilson was captured on a deputy's bodycam running towards officers and a conductor making shooting sounds.

"The defendant uttered racial slurs and insults to the conductor," says the court document. "When asked, 'So if you were in the military, what are you? Some crazy fanatical type?' and the defendant replied, 'No comment.'

"The defendant later told a deputy, 'Human beings are a plague on the planet.' When asked again why he disabled the train, the defendant said, 'I got a reason for doing what I'm doing. I stopped the fucking train.'

"The defendant went on to quote Frederick [sic] Nietzsche and explain the problems of the world and then told the deputy, 'I was going to save the train from black people.'"

An Amtrak investigator's report says the "defendant was found by the crew in the trailing locomotive and that the defendant made statements to the effect of taking the train to the stars and trying to find the conductor."

When agents searched Wilson's St. Charles home in December 2017 they discovered hollowed-out walls full of Nazi propaganda, body armor, ammunition, and "pressure plates that can be used to make an explosive device."

They also found "numerous firearms," including ones not legally registered, such as a fully automatic machine gun and a short-barrel rifle. One of the handwritten notes found by investigators was a play entitled "ISIS patrols on American Street."

The court filing also states that "email records obtained by search warrant revealed that the defendant had purchased a plane ticket with plans to ultimately travel to Syria in the year prior to this incident. It was further determined that defendant had considered travel to the Middle East to fight with ISIS. The defendant decided ultimately not to go after he purchased the ticket."

After his detention, Wilson told a cell mate that he "dropped acid," before loading his weapon and entering the train's engine compartment.

Wilson is awaiting sentencing at the District Court for Nebraska.