On Friday afternoon, a brutal and deadly stabbing took place on a Portland MAX train, resulting in the deaths of two people lauded as “heroes” for defending two Muslim women against a hateful verbal assault. A third victim of the Portland stabbing sustained non-life-threatening injuries, while the two deceased reportedly had their “throats slit” by the suspect in the case.
One victim of the Portland train stabbing died at the scene, while the second passed away at a local hospital shortly thereafter. The suspect, who has now been identified as 35-year-old Jeremy Joseph Christian, also suffered injuries in the altercation and was captured by Portland police as he attempted to flee the Hollywood Transit Center where the horrific crime took place.
According to eyewitnesses, the Portland train stabbing suspect began harassing and verbally assaulting two apparently Muslim women on the MAX train at about 4:30 p.m. on Friday. The victims in the stabbing came to the defense of those women, one of whom was reportedly wearing a hijab. Witnesses claim that stabbing suspect Jeremy Christian was yelling not only using anti-Muslim speech but “anti-everything” speech during the verbal onslaught. When the group of “at least two” men stepped up to protect the Muslim women and ask that he stop his verbal abuse, Jeremy Christian reportedly lashed out with a knife, stabbing at least three men before running from the train, reports Portland Mercury.
“[The suspect] was on the MAX train yelling various remarks that would be best characterized as hate speech toward a variety of ethnicities and religions. At least two of the victims attempted to intervene with the suspect and calm him down. The suspect attacked the men, stabbing three, before leaving the train.”
Police apprehended Portland train stabbing suspect Jeremy Joseph Christian as he attempted to escape the scene of the carnage he’d allegedly caused. An eyewitness, Larry Blackwood, filmed the suspect as he tried to get away. According to Blackwood, the suspect was “covered in blood” and still holding a knife. Portland police later took the train stabbing suspect into custody, but that was not caught on tape as authorities cleared the scene first. (Warning: Explicit Language.)
By early Saturday morning, Jeremy Christian was booked into jail in connection with the senseless Portland train stabbing, which has been characterized as a hate crime. Christian has been charged with two counts of aggravated murder, one count of attempted murder, and two counts of intimidation (hate crime). The hate crime charges are presumably related to the suspect’s alleged verbal assault of the two unnamed Muslim women on the MAX train prior to the deadly stabbings.
Since his arrest, local Portland media has identified Jeremy Christian as a known local right-wing extremist, white supremacist, and Trump supporter (but not Trump voter). As Buzzfeed reports, Christian has been a vocal social media opponent of male circumcision and Hillary Clinton.
He also participated in the late April “March for Free Speech” event in Montavilla, Oregon. It has been reported that he showed up at the April 29 gathering armed with a baseball bat that was intended to be used on left-wing protesters. Portland police confiscated his bat, but couldn’t curtail the Portland stabbing suspect’s mouth or hand gestures, and he was frequently seen giving the Nazi salute, using racial slurs and claiming to be a nihilist. He would be led away from that “free speech” event by police, an event that was caught on tape. (Warning: Explicit Language.)
It has also been reported that the Portland train stabbing suspect has a significant criminal history dating back to 2002, when he was sentenced to prison after pleading guilty to robbery, kidnapping, and possession of a dangerous weapon. Jeremy Christian has an extensive collection of mug shots in Oregon as well.
At least one of the Portland stabbing suspect’s victims has now been identified by his mother on social media. According to his mother, Taliesin Myrddin Namkai Meche was killed in the process of defending two young Muslim women from Jeremy Christian’s “anti-everything” raging on Friday afternoon. As KATU 2 reports, he was just 23-years-old.
The victim’s mother, Asha Deliverance, broke the news of her son’s murder in a heart-wrenching Facebook post.
“Taliesin Myrddin Namkai Meche, My dear baby boy passed on yesterday while protecting two young Muslim girls from a racist man on the train in Portland. He was a hero and will remain a hero on the other side of the veil. Shining bright star I love you forever.”
The victim’s aunt says that she was on the phone with her nephew when the confrontation with Portland stabbing suspect Jeremy Christian took place.
“Taliesin gave his life to protect two teenage girls who were being abused. I was on the phone when it happened and I heard the hate speech from a white supremacist. I told him to get off the phone with me and videotape what was happening so he could send it to police. I didn’t mean for him to try to be a hero and get himself killed but he was trying to protect those two teenage girls. Taliesin was huge, just look at him, his soul didn’t even fit in his body, so much love. Stop the hate, that is the message, stop the hate. He had his whole life in front of him.”
The second murder victim has been identified as 53-year-old Ricky John Best of Happy Valley, while the surviving stabbing victim has been identified as 21-year-old Micha David-Cole Fletcher of Portland. David-Cole is expected to recover but reportedly suffered serious injuries in the unprovoked stabbing attack.
Mayor Ted Wheeler of Portland released a statement addressing the MAX train stabbing on Saturday morning, reports KING 5. The mayor is currently in London and had been traveling to the city when the horrific hate crime took place.
“Two men lost their lives and another was injured for doing the right thing, standing up for people they didn’t know against hatred. Their actions were brave and selfless, and should serve as an example and inspiration to us all. They are heroes.”
Mayor Wheeler has also cut his London trip short, announcing on Twitter that he was heading back to Portland as soon as possible.
Donald Trump has yet to address the seemingly racially-motivated hate crime carried out by avowed white supremacist Jeremy Christian.
Portland stabbing suspect Jeremy Joseph Christian has yet to appear in court. However, two of the charges levied against him (two counts of aggravated murder) do potentially carry death sentences in Oregon. It is unknown at this early date if prosecutors will seek the death penalty in this case.
[Featured Image by Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office/AP Image]