A man who launched into a racist rant against two Muslim women and then slit the throats of two good Samaritan passengers when they tried to intervene, has been identified as a white supremacist, reports Portland Mercury.
The alleged attacker, identified as Jeremy Joseph Christian, 35, slashed the throats of three people as the Metro Area Express (MAX) light rail train was pulling into a station in the northeast corner of Portland – leaving two dead and one injured, according to the Independent.
Witnesses say Christian was seen ranting on the train about many topics, using “hate speech or biased language,” before turning his racist abuse at two young women, one of whom was wearing a hijab, and then attacked the men when they came to their defense. One of the victims was pronounced dead at the scene while another died in hospital. The third victim was treated for non-life threatening injuries.
“In the midst of his ranting and raving, some people approached him and appeared to try to intervene with his behavior and some of the people that he was yelling at,” Sgt Simpson told The Oregonian. “They were attacked viciously.”
Witness Evelin Hernandez said the man had called Muslim people “criminals” and had said: “Get off the bus, and get out of the country because you don’t pay taxes here” before he launched his attack.
Christian was booked early Saturday morning on two counts of aggravated murder, two counts of second-degree intimidation (hate crime) charges, and one count each of aggravated murder and being a felon in possession of a restricted firearm, reported KOIN 6.
The Portland Police Bureau reported that the man “was on the MAX train yelling various remarks that would be best characterized as hate speech toward a variety of ethnicities and religions. At least two of the victims attempted to intervene with the suspect and calm him down. The suspect attacked the men, stabbing three, before leaving the train.”
The Portland Mercury adds:
Christian is a known right wing extremist and white supremacist. On April 29, Christian showed up to the right-wing “March for Free Speech” on 82nd Avenue in Montavilla with a baseball bat in an attempt to assault left-wing protesters. The bat was quickly confiscated by Portland police officers. He ranted how he was a nihilist. He’d soon yelled racial slurs (“fuck all you n*****s”) and gave the Nazi salute throughout the day. He yelled “Hail Vinland” throughout the day.
A few Portland police officers on April 29 appeared to be familiar with Christian, but not threatened by him. They claimed he had a head injury and was mentally ill.
In another video, (at the 25-second mark), he yells “fuck all you n*****s”. “The right-wing rally organizers refused to let him in,” writes the paper.
“Shortly later, I asked him his name. I recognized the name and remembered he posted on Facebook that he’d shoot police officers if they tried to disarm him (he was never arrested).”
The Portland Mercury also provided this update on Saturday:
Christian has a criminal record that includes a host of felonies going back to 2002, when he was convicted of first-degree robbery and second-degree kidnapping. He also has a conviction for carrying/using a dangerous weapon from 2002.
His Facebook page is replete with anti-Semitic comments and other evidence of his views. Here are some examples.
In a statement responding to Friday’s attack, the Council on American-Islamic Relations demanded that President Trump speak out against the recent rise in anti-Muslim incidents, which have increased by more than 50 percent in the United States from 2015 to 2016 due in part to Trump’s focus on militant Islamist groups and anti-immigrant rhetoric.
“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,” said CAIR National Executive Director Nihad Awad.