The chain of events leading to Shapiro's announcement, contained in a short statement, began Thursday, when Municipal Court President Judge Marsha Neifield effectively overturned a decision by the Philadelphia District Attorney's Office not to prosecute Brandon Bostian.
A short time later, the District Attorney's Office announced that it would refer the charges to Shapiro's office, arguing that it had a conflict of interest because it had already decided not to charge Bostian.
The district attorney's office could appeal after it said it's reviewing Neifeld's order. A lawyer for Bostian did not immediately respond to requests for comment on Friday.
An earlier story appears below.
The Amtrak engineer behind the Philadelphia train derailment in 2015 that killed eight people was charged with multiple counts of involuntary manslaughter, prosecutors announced Friday.
"All we asked the district attorney's office to do was hold accountable a locomotive engineer who was traveling twice the allowable speed - 106 miles per hour".
Federal investigators concluded that Bostian lost track of his location before the May 12, 2015, crash after learning a nearby commuter train had been struck with a rock.
The judge ruled that charges of involuntary manslaughter and reckless endangerment can be brought against Bostian, both as misdemeanors.
"The attorney general tonight should be commended and congratulated for doing the right thing", attorney Tom Kline, one of three lawyers representing the derailment victims said of the charges.
"Bostian was an experienced engineer who was aware of the route and the fact that there were speed limits throughout the route", reads the police criminal complaint filed by Shapiro's office.
Of the 238 passengers, eight were killed - Laura Finamore, James Gaines, Abid Gilani, Robert Gildersleeve, Derrick Griffith, Rachel Jacobs, Giuseppe Piras and Justin Zemser. The investigation found no evidence that alcohol or drugs were involved. The federal organization focused on a radio conversation between Bostian, a dispatcher and a SEPTA Regional Rail engineer who claimed rocks were being thrown at his auto around Frankford Junction, where Bostian's train was traveling. But Mongeluzzi said that should be an issue for a jury.
Amtrak has taken responsibility for the crash and agreed to pay $265 million to settle related claims. "That's for a jury to decide in this case, as to whether or not Mr. Bostian is credible or incredible". Amtrak has since installed an automatic braking system on its trains in its Northeast Corridor.