On Friday, a man in Portland, Oregon was allegedly yelling anti-Muslim and anti-everything slurs, aboard a crowded commuter train, fatally stabbed two men. He stabbed one of the men in the neck. The men had attempted to stand up for two Muslim girls who were passengers. He also stabbed and wounded a third person before he was finally subdued and arrested by the police, as he was attempting to run from the train and escape on foot.
CNN reported that Portland police Sgt. Pete Simpson said that one of the two girls was wearing a hijab, according to witnesses. However, he stated that the police have, so far, not been able to locate the girls to verify that they were Muslim.
Simpson said that the male suspect was in custody and was receiving medical treatment at a local Oregon hospital for his injuries. He said that the investigation was still in the early stages. Simpson added that the police also do not yet know if the suspect had mental issues, was possibly on medication, or was drunk.
Police in Portland, Oregon, said that the suspect in custody committed the attack and fatal stabbing of two men aboard a Metropolitan Area Express (MAX) light-rail train. According to the Washington Post, the train was on its east route when the attack occurred.
First responders to the scene tried to save one of the two stabbing victims, but he died while still aboard the train. The second stabbing victim was transported to the hospital, where he died. Business Insider reported that the condition of the third passenger who was stabbed has not been revealed, other than for police officials stating that the wounds he sustained were not life-threatening.
On Friday night, police were still attempting to ascertain the suspect’s identity and also his victims’ identities. Sgt. Simpson said that before the suspect stabbed the three men aboard a Portland light-rail train, he was apparently yelling anti-Muslim slurs at the two young women. The Oregon police said the man was ranting on a variety of topics and was using “biased language” and “hate speech.”
Some male passengers approached the suspect and tried to intervene and stop him from verbally insulting the two young girls, according to Simpson. The suspect then became physically violent, stabbing the three victims, killing two of them.
Simpson said that the male suspect had been ranting about several topics, besides the anti-Muslim slurs he yelled at the two young girls. Police continued their investigation while the train remained at a closed transit center, stopped on the tracks. The suspect was just described by the police as being a white male.
Friday marked the start of Ramadan. During Ramadan, millions of Muslims around the world pray, fast from dawn to dusk, and then have feasts at night. There is no indication at this time if the suspect was ranting at the two potential Muslim girls because of Ramadan beginning, or just because they were Muslim. Police in Oregon’s Rose City are expected to release more details as the investigation continues.
By John Samuels
Photo Courtesy Google Earth