The entire country is still reeling from the horrific incident that took place on a Portland train hours before the first day of Ramadan, Islam’s holy month.
A 35-year-old convicted felon, Jeremy Joseph Christian, was allegedly bullying two young women, one who appeared to be Muslim, with racial slurs on the MAX train when three courageous men stepped in to stop him — but the xenophobic monster then reportedly killed two of them and severely injured the third.
Taliesin Myrddin Namkai-Meche, 23, and Rick Best, 54, were stabbed to death, while Micah Fletcher, 21, is in serious condition in a hospital. His injuries are not life threatening, according to the police.
Best was an Army veteran who gave away his life protecting other Americans and left behind three teenage sons and a 12-year-old daughter, while Namkai-Meche had just graduated from Reed College with a degree in economics and was working as an intern at a consulting firm.
Destinee Mangum, one of the victims, thanked the courageous men who saved her and her friends life in a heartbreaking video.
Destinee Mangum, one of the targets of hate speech on a MAX train, thanks strangers for saving her life. pic.twitter.com/sefmOAyIVt— FOX 12 Oregon KPTV (@fox12oregon) May 28, 2017
“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,” Magnum told KPTV. “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.”
The teenager explained the horror that took the country by shock and sorrow.
“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,” she explained.
Magnum’s mother, Dyjuana Hudson, also thanked the courageous heroes for saving her girl.
“I want to say thank you so much, 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.”
She mentioned her daughter is African American while her friend was wearing a hijab.
“He was saying that Muslims should die," Hudson lamented, “that they've been killing Christians for years."
Meche’s mother announced her son’s tragic death on Facebook and praised him for being a true hero.
The accused brutal killer was a “known local white supremacist," according to The Portland Mercury. His Facebook posts are reportedly full of far-right themes. He was also filmed by a reporter in April, draped in an American Revolutionary War flag and can be seen performing a Nazi salute and heard shouting "Die Muslims. Die fake Christians. Die Jews," as police stood and watched him.
Many on social media praised the good Samaritans, while a memorial was setup at the place of the stabbing.
Waiting for Trump to condemn the Portland terrorist attack.— Ana Marie Cox (@anamariecox) May 27, 2017
(Don’t worry I’ve got a good book or thousand to keep me occupied.)
After 23 years of honorable US Army service, Ricky John Best gave his life defending his fellow Americans against a nazi in Oregon.— Mike Breen (@M_Breen) May 27, 2017
Let us honor the two who died in Portland standing up to racial hatred by pledging to live our lives with as much courage and conviction.— George Takei (@GeorgeTakei) May 27, 2017
Let's be clear: white supremacy is not a mental illness. #Portland— Women's March (@womensmarch) May 28, 2017
As horrific as what happened in Portland last night was, I am proud to live in a city where two heroes sacrificed their lives to stop hate.— Bill Lascher (@billlascher) May 27, 2017