FBI Exploring Possible Hate Crimes In Portland Train Stabbing  

Photo by Sipa USA via AP
Jeremy Joseph Christian was heard shouting racist slurs to two teen girls before stabbing three men who tried to intervene. 

A man fatally stabbed two passengers aboard a Portland commuter train Friday after they tried to stop him from harassing and yelling racist slurs at two young women who appeared to be Muslim.

Jeremy Joseph Christian of Portland, a 35-year-old convicted felon, was identified as the assailant. He stabbed three men: Ricky John Best ,53, Taliesin Myrddin Namkai-Meche, 23, and Micah David-Cole Fletcher, 21.

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Christian started shouting racists slurs at two teenage girls, one of whom was black and the other wore a hijab, the Portland Police Department said in a statement. The three men tried to intervene and that is when he stabbed them.

Best died at the scene, and Meche died at a hospital, police said. Fletcher is still in the hospital.

Christian has been charged with two counts of aggravated murder and charges of attempted murder, intimidation and being a felon in possession of a restricted weapon,, but authorities are also looking into whether he could also be charged with a federal hate crime, CNN reports.
 
“It's too early to say whether last night's violence was an act of domestic terrorism or a federal hate crime,” Loren Cannon, special agent in charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation in Oregon told a news conference on Saturday, adding the FBI had joined the investigation.
 
The Council on American-Islamic Relations blamed an increase in anti-Muslim incidents in part on President Donald Trump's focus on militant Islamist groups and anti-immigrant rhetoric, they said in a statement.

Christian’s arraignment is scheduled for Tuesday.

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