Two men died and another was injured Friday on a light-rail train when they tried to intervene as a man yelled “hate speech or biased language” toward two young women, one of whom was wearing a hijab, police said.
Two men were stabbed to death Friday on a light-rail train in Portland, Oregon, after they tried to intervene as a man yelled hate speech at two women who appeared to be Muslim, police said.
A third passenger who tried to intervene was also stabbed but is expected to survive.
The male suspect, who ran off the train, was arrested a short time later on foot near Providence Hospital, police said in a statement. He was not immediately identified.
Shortly before 5 p.m., the suspect was ranting about a number of things on the MAX train near the Hollywood transit station before using what would be “characterized as hate speech or biased language” and focusing on “two young girls,” one of whom was wearing hijab, Portland police Sgt. Pete Simpson told reporters at a briefing posted by The Oregonian.
That's when the three men tried to intervene and were “attacked viciously” by the suspect, Simpson said. One of them died at the scene, another succumbed to his injuries at the hospital.
None of the victims' identities were released Friday night.
The girls who were verbally attacked left the scene of the stabbing before police arrived and are being sought as witnesses, Simpson said.
He stressed that the investigation was still in its preliminary stages and it was unclear if the suspect has mental health issues, was under the influence of drugs or alcohol, “or all of the above.”
“It’s horrific,” Simpson added. “There’s no other word to describe what happened today.”