The man accused of stabbing and killing two passengers aboard a train in Portland, Ore. — after they tried to stop him from shouting anti-Muslim threats at two teen girls — was identified by police Saturday as a rabid racist and felon.
Jeremy Joseph Christian, 35, of Portland, whose social media pages are filled with hate speech and images of himself giving the Nazi “Sieg Heil” salute, has been booked on two counts of aggravated murder, officials said.
Christian went berserk on the train Friday afternoon — just hours before the start of the holy Islamic month of Ramadan.
He started screaming ethnic and religious slurs at the two girls, police said.
“He was saying that Muslims should die,” Dyjuana Hudson, the mother of one of the girls, told The Oregonian newspaper.
“That they’ve been killing Christians for years.”
Hudson’s daughter, Destinee, is 16 years old and African-American. Her friend, who is 17, was wearing a hijab, Hudson told the paper.
The two girls attempted to move to another part of the train away from the screaming man, Hudson said. But he followed, still yelling at them, she said.
“He had been acting up the whole ride, pretty much from the time he got on,” Hudson told The Oregonian. At least three passengers tried to intercede — and Christian allegedly stabbed each of them, two fatally.
“You can’t get at them like that — they’re little girls,” Hudson said one of the victims tried to tell Christian.
Dead are father-of-three Ricky John Best, 53, of Happy Valley, Ore., and Taliesin Myrddin Namkai Meche, of Portland.
Best was an Army veteran who had served in Iraq and Afghanistan.
“If he knew he was going to die, he still would have done what he did,” Christopher Landt said of Meche, his childhood pal.
The third victim, Micah Fletcher, 21, of Portland, is expected to survive.
A poet, Fletcher often speaks out for social justice and has written specifically against anti-Islamic hatred, friends told the station.
Christian, meanwhile, has filled his Facebook page with bile, including this, posted on April 19, the 22nd anniversary of the Oklahoma City bombing: “May all the Gods Bless Timothy McVeigh a TRUE PATRIOT!!!”
“All Jihadi Muslims are going to Madagascar or the Ovens/FEMA Camps!!!” he recently posted.
The Oregonian reported that Christian’s criminal history included convictions for robbery, kidnapping and weapons charges.
With Post Wire Services