On Friday (May 26), a white supremacist fatally stabbed two men after they attempted to de-escalate the Portland, Oregon man’s violent hate speech against two women.
The incident happened on a MAX train when Taliesin Namkai-Meche, 23, and Ricky John Best, 53, noticed Jeremy Christian’s verbal assault against Destinee Mangum and her friend. When they intervened, Christian, 35, fatally stabbed them with a knife, Buzzfeed reports. Micah David-Fletcher, 21, sustained injuries after he tried to help the teens as well.
In an interview with Fox 12, Mangum expressed her gratitude for the men who stepped in to protect her and her friend. “I just want to say thank you to the people who put their life on the line for me, because they didn’t even know me and they lost their lives because of me and my friend and the way we look,” she said. “I want to say thank you to them and their family, and that I appreciate them. Without them, we probably would be dead right now.”
According to Mangum, 16, Christian yelled demeaning statements, specifically targeting his vitriol at Muslims. Mangum’s friend, who is Muslim (Mangum is not), was wearing a hijab. “He told us to go back to Saudi Arabia and he told us we shouldn’t be here, to get out of his country. He was just telling us that we basically weren’t anything and that we should kill ourselves,” she said.
Destinee Mangum, one of the targets of hate speech on a MAX train, thanks strangers for saving her life. pic.twitter.com/sefmOAyIVt
— FOX 12 Oregon KPTV (@fox12oregon) May 28, 2017
Christian has been charged with aggravated murder.