A man believed to be a white supremacist was arrested on murder charges after he allegedly stabbed three people on a public train in Portland, Oregon, killing two.
According to the Portland Mercury, Jeremy Christian, who reportedly has ties to white supremacist groups, was on the MAX train when he began shouting racially-charged comments primarily directed at two women who appeared to be Muslim; one was wearing a hijab.
The Portland Police Bureau told the newspaper that Christian’s comments can 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 newspaper reports that one victim died at the scene while another died after being transported to the hospital. The third reportedly suffered non-fatal injuries.
The Portland Mercury also reports that the suspect has a criminal record and a history of engaging in hate speech against non-whites. Christian reportedly went to the city’s March for Free Speech on April 29, carrying a baseball bat and attempting to assault liberal protesters. He reportedly gave the Nazi salute and shouted racial slurs.
Portland Police Sgt. Pete Simpson addressed the tragedy, which took place on the eve of the Ramadan holiday, in a press release, which reads in part:
“Our thoughts are with the Muslim community. As something like this happens, this only instills fear in that community. We have already reached out previous to this incident to our Muslim community partners and the different imams about extra patrol during Ramadan. We want to reassure them that that will continue.”
According to NBC News, Christian remains in custody on multiple charges, including aggravated murder, attempted murder, and being a felon in possession of a restricted weapon.
The victims have not yet been identified.