Two people were killed and one was injured in a stabbing Friday after witnesses said they attempted to defend two young girls after a man began shouting hateful messages at them on a MAX train in northeast Portland.
Now, one of the victims of the hate speech is sending her thanks to those who came to her defense.
Destinee Mangum, 16, told FOX 12 she and her 17-year-old friend were riding a MAX train when a man, later identified as 35-year-old Jeremy Joseph Christian, approached them yelling what is described as hate speech or bias language.
Mangum said her friend is Muslim, although she is not.
"He told us to go back to Saudi Arabia and he told us we shouldn't be here, to get out of his country," said Mangum. "He was just telling us that we basically weren't anything and that we should kill ourselves."
The 16-year-old said scared, they decided to move to the back of the train all while a stranger jumped in to help.
“This white male from the back of us was like he’s talking to you guys? You guys can’t disrespect these young ladies like that," said Mangum. "Then they just all started arguing."
What happened next, Mangum said she'll never forget.
“Me and my friend were going to get off the MAX and then we turned around while they were fighting and he just started stabbing people and it was just blood everywhere and we just started running for our lives," said Mangum.
Mangum's Mom, Dyjuana Hudson, said she owes everything to the two men that were killed and their now grieving families.
“I want to say thank you so much," said Hudson. "I couldn’t imagine what you’re going through right now as far as losing someone and I’m sorry it had to be at the hands of my children.”
As for Mangum, she has her own message to the strangers turned heroes, who she said gave up their lives to protect hers.
“I just want to say thank you to the people who put their life on the line for me, because they didn’t even know me and they lost their lives because of me and my friend and the way we look," said Mangum.
"And I just want to say thank you to them and their family and that I appreciate them because without them, we probably would be dead right now," continued Mangum.
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