[guest post by Dana]
In Portland last night, a man killed two individuals and wounded another when they attempted to stop him from harassing two women on a train as he yelled “…hate speech toward a variety of ethnicities and religions”:
Two men were killed in a stabbing on a MAX train Friday when they tried to intervene as another man yelled racial slurs at two young women who appeared to be Muslim, including one wearing a hijab, police said.
A third passenger who tried to help was also stabbed, but is expected to survive, said Portland police spokesman Sgt. Pete Simpson.
Officers arrested the suspect as he ran from the Hollywood transit station into the neighborhood near Providence Portland Medical Center in Northeast Portland, Simpson said. Police are still working to identify him and the three men stabbed.
The suspect was ranting about many things, using “hate speech or biased language,” and at one point focused on the young women, Simpson said.
The suspect then turned on the passengers who tried to help, Simpson said.
“In the midst of his ranting and raving, some people approached him and appeared to try to intervene with his behavior and some of the people that he was yelling at,” Simpson said. “They were attacked viciously.”
One good Samaritan died at the scene and another at the hospital, he said. The third victim was undergoing evaluation, but didn’t suffer life-threatening wounds, he said.
An eyewitness, Evelin Hernandez, a 38-year-old resident of Clackamas, Oregon told KATU-TV:
“[The suspect] said, ‘Get off the bus, and get out of the country because you don’t pay taxes here,’ [he said he] doesn’t like Muslims, they’re criminals,” Evelin Hernandez said.
Authorities arrested 35 year old Jeremy Joseph Christian and he was booked in the Multnomah County jail on two counts of aggravated murder and one count of attempted murder, as well as misdemeanor charges.
According to Oregon Live, Christian’s criminal record, which dates back to 2002, includes felony robbery, kidnapping and weapon convictions.
CNN notes: “Investigators haven’t been able to verify whether Christian was targeting the women with slurs because police haven’t found them.” Police are hoping they will come forward to ask them questions.
Also, the Portland Mercury is reporting that Christian is a known white-supremacist, and known to Portland authorities:
On April 29, Christian showed up to the right-wing “March for Free Speech” on 82nd Avenue in Montavilla with a baseball bat in an attempt to assault left-wing protesters. The bat was quickly confiscated by Portland police officers. He ranted how he was a nihilist. He’d soon yelled racial slurs (“fuck all you n*****s”) and gave the Nazi salute throughout the day. He yelled “Hail Vinland” throughout the day.
A few Portland police officers on April 29 appeared to be familiar with Christian, but not threatened by him. They claimed he had a head injury and was mentally ill.
At the link you can view photos of Christian giving the Nazi salute, and read his anti-Semitic, anti-Muslim Facebook posts, as well as his political comments.
Prayers for the families of the two men who heroically died trying to protect the young women. And a quick recovery for the third individual.