DES MOINES, Iowa (CBS St. Louis/AP) — A man who died after being hit by a train in Des Moines is suspected of earlier attacking someone in a nearby home.

Police say 32-year-old Lopez Christian Webster died Tuesday night after trying to climb between freight cars of a moving train.

Des Moines Sgt. Richard Wallace says a witness told officers the man appeared to be running to beat the Union Pacific train before it crossed the 1900 block of East Grand Avenue.

Authorities say that the train cut Webster in half.

“He’s actually cut in half by the train,” Sgt. Jason Halifax told WOI-TV. “Physically cut in half by the train.”

Witness Ivan Nery described seeing Webster’s body outside the train.

“”His body was torn apart. It was bad. That’s it,” Nery told WOI. “I mean, why would you run right in between two cars of the train?”

Just minutes before the train killed Webster, someone matching his description entered a nearby home, ordered a man inside to his knees and stabbed him in the arm with a small knife. The intruder then grabbed something and fled.

The train engineer didn’t notice Webster. Authorities stopped the train in Ankeny.

(TM and © Copyright 2013 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2013 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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