Two men killed on Portland train while trying to stop anti-Muslim hate speech

A known white supremacist allegedly murdered two men for intervening the harassment of Muslim women in Portland

Published May 27, 2017 9:16AM (EDT)

Immigration rally in Portland, Ore., Monday, Feb. 27, 2017 (AP Photo/Don Ryan)
Immigration rally in Portland, Ore., Monday, Feb. 27, 2017 (AP Photo/Don Ryan)

Two men were killed Friday in Portland when they tried to stop an anti-Muslim rant on the MAX train at the Hollywood Transit Station, the Oregonian reported. Another man also suffered stab wounds, but he is expected to survive.

Police say that the suspect fled from the scene, but was eventually arrested in Northeast Portland.

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The attack occurred in the mid-afternoon when the suspect, later identified to be 35-year-old Jeremy Joseph Christian, began yelling "hate speech or biased language" directed at two young women, one of whom was wearing a hijab, the Oregonian reported. Some good samaritans tried to intervene, but then the man ranting turned on them with a knife. One man died on the train, while the other passed away at the hospital.

"These were folks just riding the train and unfortunately got caught up in this," Portland police spokesman Sgt. Pete Simpson said, according to the Oregonian

"He was talking about a lot of different things, not just specifically anti-Muslim," Simpson said. "We don't know if he's got mental health issues. We don't know if he's under the influence of drugs or alcohol or all of the above."

The Council on American-Islamic Relations condemned the incident Friday, referencing President Donald Trump's anti-immigrant rhetoric as a possible cause.

"President Trump must speak out personally against the rising tide of Islamophobia and other forms of bigotry and racism in our nation that he has provoked through his numerous statements, policies and appointments that have negatively impacted minority communities," CAIR National Executive Director Nihad Awad said, Reuters reported.

Christian was booked Saturday morning into a Multnomah County jail on suspicion of aggravated murder and attempted murder, the Oregonian reported. A Facebook page under the suspect's name connects him to an alt-right protest in Portland and shows that he was a part of violent online groups, the Oregonian reported.

By Taylor Link

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Anti-muslim Bigotry Crime Hate Crime Hate Speech Murder Oregon Portland White Supremacist