Portland resident Jeremy Christian will be arraigned Tuesday on at least two counts of aggravated murder for his alleged stabbing of three men on a MAX light-rail train on Friday. Two of the men — Taliesin Myrddin Namkai-Meche, 23, and Rick Best, 53 — died, and a third, David-Cole Fletcher, 21, was wounded and is expected to live. On Monday, The Oregonian's Maxine Bernstein posted a detailed report of the fatal encounter, mostly as recounted by eyewitness Rachel Macy, a 45-year-old passenger on the train.
The man now identified as Christian boarded the eastbound train at the Lloyd Center shopping mall and immediately started "screaming that he was a taxpayer, that colored people were ruining the city, and he had First Amendment rights," then began spewing anti-Muslim slurs, Macy said. "He was just being really belligerent and loud." Best was standing closest to Christian, and was the first to try to calm him down. A train operator said over the loudspeaker that the person causing the disturbance needed to get off at the next stop, threatening to call the police, Macy recalled, and that's when Namkai-Menche stepped up and urged Christian to get off the train.
At some point, someone tried to physically move Christian away from the two teenage girls he was harassing, earning a warning from Christian, Macy told The Oregonian. Namkai-Menche was holding his phone up, either showing Christian something or recording the incident, and Christian knocked the phone away and stabbed him in the neck. "It was just a swift, hard hit," Macy said. "It was a nightmare." She doesn't remember who was stabbed in which order, she said, but Christian left the train after cursing the passengers, Best took a few steps and collapsed, Fletcher stumbled off the train holding his neck, and Namkai-Menche walked by her. Macy tended to him, giving him her tank top to hold against his neck.
Best, an Army veteran, died at the scene, while Namkai-Menche died at the hospital. When he was on the stretcher, Macy said, Namkai-Menche had a final message: "Tell everyone on this train I love them." Read her entire timeline of events, and statements from other witnesses, at The Oregonian.