- The Washington Times - Saturday, May 27, 2017

Two men were stabbed to death aboard a Portland, Oregon, commuter train on Friday after intervening in another passenger’s bigoted tirade, authorities said afterwards.

The incident unfolded shortly before 5 p.m. on a Metropolitan Area Express (MAX) light-rail train as passengers attempted to stop a man from loudly spewing hate speech, Portland Police Bureau spokesman Sgt. Pete Simpson said at a Friday evening press conference.

“This suspect was on the train and he was yelling and ranting and raving a lot of different things, including what we characterized at hate speech or biased language,” the spokesman said, focusing on two women in particular, including one wearing a hijab, a Muslim veil.

“In the midst of his ranting and raving, some people approached him, appeared to try to intervene with his behavior and some of the people that he was yelling at,” he added. “They were attacked viciously by the suspect.”

Two passengers were killed and a third injured as a result of the attack, according to police. Their names have not yet been released.

The suspect fled the train but was apprehended a short time later and identified as Jeremy Joseph Christian, 35, of North Portland.

Mr. Christian was booked into Multnomah County Jail early Saturday morning on two counts of aggravated murder, two counts of second-degree intimidation and being a felon in possession of a restricted weapon. He is currently being held without bail ahead of an arraignment hearing scheduled for Monday in Multnomah County Court, authorities said in a statement.

Additional charges may be brought later “after the Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office presents the case to a grand jury,” authorities said Saturday.

Mr. Christian was previously been convicted of counts including felony robbery, kidnapping and weapon charges, The Oregonian reported. The Portland Mercury reported Saturday that Christian is a known white supremacist and right-wing extremist who has publicly espoused anti-Semitic and other racist remarks in the past and was photographed giving a Nazi-salute during a far-right rally late last month.

“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,” the Council on American-Islamic Relations’s executive director, Nihad Awad, said following Friday’s attack.

Autopsies are being conducted on the two slain passengers and are scheduled to be finished late Saturday morning local time, according to police.

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