Earlier this evening two people were killed and another wounded attempting to intervene with a man who had been bullying a pair of women for being Muslim.
Portland’s KATU News reported that:
Witnesses told KATU’s Joe Douglass the stabbing suspect was hurling racial insults at two women with dark skin, one of whom was wearing a headdress. Two men who came to the woman’s defense had their throats slashed by the suspect, witnesses said.
Another witness says she saw two women who appeared to be of Middle Eastern-descent get on the train. At least one of them was wearing a headdress. The suspect was asking them questions when he got belligerent. When another bystander tried to calm him down, the man took out a knife and began stabbing people.
“He said, ‘Get off the bus, and get out of the country because you don’t pay taxes here,’ [he said he] doesn’t like Muslims, they’re criminals,” Evelin Hernandez said.
Portland’s KGW News also reports that:
Portland police spokesman Sgt. Pete Simpson said the man was yelling hate speech on the train. While Simpson said the rants weren’t exclusively anti-Muslim, he said at some point the man began directing his speech towards two younger women are believed to be Muslim. One was wearing a hijab, Simpson said.
While the man was yelling, other passengers began trying to calm him down. That’s when the man attacked three of the people who intervened, Simpson said. One person died at the scene and one later died at a hospital. The third victim is expected to survive. They have not yet been identified.
The suspect then ran from the train into a nearby neighborhood, where police took him into custody. Simpson said it’s not yet known what prompted the man’s behavior.
None of the news reports identify who the suspect is or provide a description of him.