Mayor Wheeler on victims of MAX train attack: 'They are heroes' - KPTV - FOX 12

Mayor Wheeler on victims of MAX train attack: 'They are heroes'

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PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) -

Governor Kate Brown and Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler Saturday conveyed their thoughts regarding a vicious attack that took place on a Northeast Portland MAX train.

The incident took place  Northeast 42nd Avenue and Halsey Street around 4:30 p.m. Friday.

According to witnesses, 35-year-old Jeremy Joseph Christian, approached two young female passengers yelling what is described as hate speech or bias language.

Three other men on the train attempted to defend the girls. Christian then viciously attacked, fatally stabbing two of the men and seriously injuring one. 

Christian fled the scene but caught near the Providence Portland Medical Center. He faces a list of charges including aggravated murder, attempted murder and intimidation in the second degree.

The two men who were killed were identified by police as 53-year-old Ricky John Best of Happy Valley, and 23-year-old Taliesin Myrddin Namkai Meche of Southeast Portland.

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.  

Mayor Wheeler called the attack a "horrific act of racist violence," and said the victims who intervened are "heroes." 

"They did the right thing," he said during the press conference Saturday. "Their actions were brave and selfless and should serve as an example and inspiration to all."

The mayor also expressed his condolences to the victims' families and thanked the first responders and law enforcement officers who were called to the scene. 

Oregon Governor Kate Brown reiterated her strong belief that Oregon is a state that welcomes and protects its community members regardless of their backgrounds. 

"Crime and hate is absolutely unacceptable in our Oregon," said Brown. "Our Oregon is welcoming and inclusive to all."

Brown and Wheeler were joined by Portland Police Chief Mike Marshman and members of the Portland Muslim community.

A vigil will be held for the victims at the Hollywood MAX station at 6:30 p.m. Saturday.  

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