BYHALIA, Miss. — Someone fired a rifle at the locomotive of a BNSF freight train headed to Memphis.
It happened in Byhalia, Mississippi where investigators and the public hoped the train’s “on board” surveillance camera could identify the shooter.
People in the area said they were used to the sound of freight trains rumbling through their town, but Earnestine Brooks never dreamed someone would fire a rifle at one of the huge machines.
“Well, I wouldn’t have thought nobody would have did that. I hadn’t ever heard of that before, folks shooting at trains you know and all that,” said Brooks.
Officials with Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad said that’s what happened near the crossing on Fuller Street and Railroad Avenue.
According to BNSF, an unidentified man fired a shot into the cab of the locomotive but neither of the two employees inside were hurt.
Melvin Sisk and his wife lived close to the train tracks.
“We were sitting there watching TV and all of a sudden, BOOM. I told my wife, ‘that sounded like a gunshot.’ And she said, ‘sure did,’ he recounted.
Sisk said up till that moment the train had been moving at what he called a “decent clip.”
“Then all of a sudden he just jammed the brakes on and started “squealing.” And then later on we found out that actually somebody up there had fired into the cab of the train. Almost hit the conductor,” said Sisk.
Thursday BNSF agents and Byhalia Police walked the tracks looking for evidence.
We’re told the shooter had been parked on the tracks as the train was approaching, but moved, drove up Railroad Avenue, got out of his vehicle and fired the shot.
They hoped video from the train’s surveillance camera would help catch the man and give folks like Brooks some piece of mind.
“I hope that whoever it was, I hope they would not do that no more,” she said.
A spokesperson with BNSF told us this was the first time anything like this has happened in the area.