Hear how Owosso-based railroad employees helped capture CMU shooting suspect

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OWOSSO (WJRT) (03/06/18) -- Great Lakes Central Railroad played a key part in helping to capture Central Michigan University shooting suspect James Eric Davis Jr.

It was one of the conductors and conductor trainees on a train that spotted Davis near the tracks shortly after midnight Saturday morning.

"We gave them a safety briefing and said, 'Look, you're going to be working in an area where a presumed killer is lurking," said Great Lakes Central Railroad President Chris Bagwell.

It was no doubt a tense late Friday night for the Great Lakes Central Railroad three person crew heading south through Mt. Pleasant.

"It was a 20 mph speed zone. They were running 17 mph due to the law enforcement at each grade crossing," Bagwell said.

Bagwell said it was just shortly after midnight, being about 15 feet up, the conductor saw Davis near the side of the tracks in his boxers.

"They were concerned because he was making a move to jump on the train," he said.

That's when the conductor called 911 and then stopped the train to make sure Davis hadn't gotten on.

"They were notified about 30 minutes later by the Isabella County Sheriff's Department that -- thank you boys, we got him," he said.

Mick Irland, superintendent of Transportation for Great Lakes Central Railroad, said all employees are trained to always be aware of their surroundings.

"If they see something that could be suspicious on the railroad tracks or any reason, they're supposed to call us at dispatch or call 911," Irland said.

And they did.

"Kudos to these guys for their bravery, and their dedication to their job and the company," Bagwell said.

Davis is charged with two counts of murder for the shooting death of both of his parents inside a dorm room at Central Michigan University Friday morning.

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