On Friday, a 35-year-old apparent racial extremist named Jeremy Christian allegedly stabbed three people on a light-rail train in Portland, killing two of them, after they interceded to stop Christian from harassing two teenage girls with dark skin, one apparently in a hijab. On Saturday, about 1,000 people gathered in Portland to honor the three men who intervened: Taliesin Myrddin Namkai Meche, 23, a recent graduate of Reed College, and Rick Best, 53, an Army veteran, both of whom died; and David-Cole Fletcher, 21, who survived.
"They didn't have capes," local activist Ellie Eaton said at the vigil. "They were just human beings that we all have the capacity to be like." On Monday, President Trump called the attack "unacceptable," and said the "victims were standing up to hate and intolerance," in a tweet from his official POTUS account:
On Saturday, one of the girls targeted on the MAX train told a local TV station that she is not a Muslim and that the people who stood up for her were heroes. "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," she said. "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."
Christian has been charged with two counts of aggravated murder and may face more when he is arraigned on Tuesday.