A vigil has been held in Portland, Oregon in honour of two people killed and one injured in a stabbing attack on a commuter train on Friday.
A passenger who was previously a paramedic described the scene when he came forward to give first aid to the victims who were trying to defend a Muslim girl and her friend.
“What I first saw was the bloody tracks coming out of the door and the blood flowing out of the door. Then I saw him, and then on the other side of Taliesin was Ricky,” explained Michael Kennedy.
“I worry about the hundreds of people that were impacted by this and I hope that it is labeled what it is. And that is, a terrorist attack. I want that to be clear,” he added.
The suspect, 35-year-old convicted felon, Jeremy Joseph Christian, is due to appear in court on Tuesday. He is charged with aggravated murder, attempted murder, intimidation and being a felon in possession of a restricted weapon.
A senior researcher with the Southern Poverty Law Center, in a blog post, said Christian’s Facebook page showed he held “some racist and other extremist beliefs.”
The attack unfolded hours before the start of Ramadan, Islam’s holy month, when most of the world’s 1.6 billion Muslims observe a daily religious fast.
Three men who intervened were stabbed. Ricky John Best, 53, of Happy Valley, Oregon died at the scene, while Taliesin Myrddin Namkai Meche, 23, of Southeast Portland died at a hospital, police said. A third victim, Micah David-Cole Fletcher of 21, Southeast Portland, remained in a local hospital with serious but non-life-threatening injuries, police said.
A crowdfunding campaign for the victims has so far raised more than half a million dollars.
Throughout the weekend, pressure mounted on US President Donald Trump to condemn the attack. The president had not mentioned the stabbing but continued to actively use social media, tweeting about “big results” from his trip to Europe and “fake news media”, among other topics.
On Monday, the president used his official Twitter account to label the Friday attack as “unacceptable”. “The victims were standing up to hate and intolerance, Our prayers are with them,” read the tweet.
3 days later, Trump comments about white supremacist accused of stabbings in Portland. But only on
Potus</a> account. <a href="https://t.co/yX9ZeoMbZl">https://t.co/yX9ZeoMbZl</a> <a href="https://t.co/eMqPqyWivK">pic.twitter.com/eMqPqyWivK</a></p>— Jim Roberts (nycjim) May 29, 2017
POLITICO (@politico) May 29, 2017