Portland train attack hero's last words: 'Tell everyone on this train I love them'

Portland train attack hero's last words: 'Tell everyone on this train I love them'
Posted at 1:48 PM, May 30, 2017
and last updated 2017-05-30 13:48:44-04

"Tell everyone on this train I love them."

That was the final message of one of the men killed Friday after police said he confronted a man shouting racist hate speech on a commuter train. 

Jeremy Joseph Christian, 35, was on a Metropolitan Area Express (MAX) light-rail train in Portland late Friday afternoon when he started yelling what "would best be characterized as hate speech toward a variety of ethnicities and religions," police said.

Christian may have directed slurs at two young women whom witnesses described as Muslim, one of whom was wearing a hijab, Portland police Sgt. Pete Simpson told CNN.

As two men tried to calm him down, Christian stabbed them and one other man, police said. The two men who died were identified Saturday as Ricky John Best , 53, of Happy Valley, and Taliesin Myrddin Namkai Meche, 23, of Portland.

Best died at the scene.

Witness Rachel Macy told reporters at the Oregonian she stayed by Namkai-Meche's side as he was loaded onto a stretcher. Before he was carried away, he had a last message, she said: "Tell everyone on this train I love them. ''

Meche later died at a hospital, police said.

The third man, Micah David-Cole Fletcher, 21, is still at a hospital with serious, but non-life-threatening wounds, police added.

The stabbings happened hours before the start of Ramadan, a monthlong Muslim holy period of prayer, fasting and charity.

Christian was charged with two counts of aggravated murder and one count of attempted murder, all felonies. He also was charged with misdemeanors: two counts of second-degree intimidation and a count of being a felon in possession of a restricted weapon, police said.

His felony convictions -- for robbery and kidnapping -- came in 2002, state corrections department records show.

He was being held Saturday at the Multnomah County jail without opportunity for bail. His arraignment is set for Tuesday in county court, police said.

Christian could face additional charges once prosecutors present the case to a grand jury, police said.

WCPO contributed to this report.