Victims identified in triple MAX train stabbing - KPTV - FOX 12

Victims identified in triple MAX train stabbing

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Mugshot: Jeremy Joseph Christian Mugshot: Jeremy Joseph Christian
Image: KPTV Image: KPTV
Image: KPTV Image: KPTV
PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) -

A man yelling "hate speech" on a MAX train stabbed and killed two people who tried to intervene, according to police.

Emergency crews responded to the Hollywood Transit Center near Northeast 42nd Avenue and Halsey Street at around 4:30 p.m. Friday.

Police said one man was found suffering from traumatic injuries. First responders attempted life-saving measures, but he was pronounced dead at the scene.

A second stabbing victim was taken to the hospital, but he also died from his injuries.

A third man was stabbed and he is being treated for injuries described as non-life threatening by police.

Saturday afternoon, police released the identities of the victims. They said 53-year-old Ricky John Best of Happy Valley, and 23-year-old Taliesin Myrddin Namkai Meche of Southeast Portland were killed.

Police said 21-year-old Micah David-Cole Fletcher of Southeast Portland is in the hospital being treated for serious but non-life threatening injuries. 

Witnesses told police the suspect was "ranting and raving" and yelling "hate speech or bias language" on the MAX train.

Witnesses said two of the targets of the hate speech were younger girls believed to be Muslim. One of the girls was wearing a hijab.

The people who were stabbed had approached the man and tried to stop his behavior, but they were "viciously" attacked, according to a Portland Police Bureau spokesman.

The suspect ran away from the scene and was caught near the Providence Portland Medical Center. The suspect received medical treatment and was turned over to homicide detectives.

Police said they arrested 35-year-old Jeremy Joseph Christian of North Portland in connection with the stabbing. Christian faces a list of charges including aggravated murder, attempted murder and intimidation in the second degree.

The FBI said Friday night that they are offering to help Portland police in the investigation.

Police are hoping to contact witnesses who have not yet spoken to investigators, including the two girls believed to have been targeted by the suspect.

Anyone with information is asked to contact the Portland Police Bureau.

Commissioner Chloe Eudaly is standing in for Mayor Ted Wheeler, who is on a flight to London. She released a statement speaking for the City Council, saying:

"The city of Portland has a heavy heart right now, and our thoughts and prayers go out to the families and friends of the deceased and injured.

This is an especially sad and disturbing incident. People lost their lives or were injured because they stood up to hate.

We need to offer our heartfelt support to the two women and others who were targeted. The courage of the people who stood up for them is a reminder that we as a city need to stand together to denounce hate.

Thank you to the courageous witnesses who helped police locate the suspect before more people were hurt; thank you to the first responders and medical personnel who arrived quickly to administer aid; and thank you to the police for apprehending the suspect.

These are troubling times across our city, our country and the world. We cannot let this divide us. We need to unite against all forms of violence and hate. Our differences should be a cause for celebration, not something that foments hate.

I'm asking everyone to reach out and connect with your families, your friends and your neighbors. Let's all stand together."

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