Two people died Friday and another was hurt in a stabbing on a Portland light-rail train after a man yelled racial slurs at two young women who appeared to be Muslim, one of whom was wearing a hijab, police said.
Officers arrested a man Friday afternoon who ran from the train, The Oregonian/OregonLive reported. The paper identified the man as Jeremy Joseph Christian, 35, and said he is being held without bail, citing jail records. A Portland police spokesman has not yet confirmed Christian is a suspect in the stabbings.
Before the stabbing the assailant on the train was ranting on many topics, using “hate speech or biased language,” and then turned his focus on the women, police Sgt. Pete Simpson said.
“In the midst of his ranting and raving, some people approached him and appeared to try to intervene with his behavior and some of the people that he was yelling at,” Simpson told The Oregonian. “They were attacked viciously.”
One person was dead at the scene and another died at a hospital, Simpson said. The third person was taken to a hospital with non-life threatening injuries.
It wasn’t clear why the man was yelling, Simpson said.
“He was talking about a lot of different things, not just specifically anti-Muslim,” Simpson said.
Police don’t know if the man has mental health issues or if he was under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time.
The attack happened on a MAX train as it headed east. A train remained stopped on the tracks at a…
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