Sunday, May 28, 2017

Brave and selfless Oregon stabbing victims hailed as heroes for standing up to racist rants

By Amy B Wang May 28, 2017

Even before their names were released, one word repeatedly came up to describe the men who were killed in a stabbing Friday on a light-rail train in Portland, Ore.: heroes.

They had tried to intervene, police said, after another passenger began “ranting and raving” and shouting anti-Muslim insults at two young women.

That’s when the ranting passenger turned his anger toward those who sought to calm him down. He fatally stabbed two men and seriously injured a third, police said, before fleeing the train on foot.

“Two men lost their lives and another was injured for doing the right thing, standing up for people they didn’t know against hatred,” Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler said in a statement Saturday. “Their actions were brave and selfless, and should serve as an example and inspiration to us all. They are heroes.”

Police on Saturday identified the two slain victims as 53-year-old Ricky John Best and 23-year-old Taliesin Myrddin Namkai Meche.

The third victim, 21-year-old Micah David-Cole Fletcher, is being treated for injuries that were not life-threatening, police said.

“They were all attacked because they did the right thing,” Wheeler said.

Police arrested 35-year-old Jeremy Joseph Christian, of north Portland. Local media reports described Christian as a “known white supremacist” in the area, and his Facebook page showed a long history of posting racist and extremist beliefs.

According to witnesses, a white male passenger riding an eastbound MAX train early Friday afternoon began yelling what “would best be characterized as hate speech toward a variety of ethnicities and religions,” police said. Some of the slurs were directed at two female passengers, one of whom was wearing a hijab, according to police.


By Saturday afternoon, a GoFundMe campaign called “Tri Met Heroes” set up for the victims’ families had raised more than $30,000. A GoFundMe spokesman confirmed to The Post that the company would ensure that the funds are sent to the victims’ families.


“We don’t know if [the suspect] has mental-health issues or was under the influence of drugs or alcohol, or all of the above,” Simpson said Friday. “With this incident, we’re obviously in early stages of the investigation.”


The attack prompted outrage among residents and lawmakers in Oregon, as well as nationwide.

No comments:

Post a Comment