Toronto - After uttering slurs targeting a number two Muslim women, a man stabbed and killed two men who tried to intervene and wounded a third before attempting to flee on Friday.
Toronto – After uttering slurs targeting a number two Muslim women, a man stabbed and killed two men who tried to intervene and wounded a third before attempting to flee on Friday.
Police have arrested 35-year-old, Jeremy Joseph Christian and are holding him without bail pending their investigation. He is charged with aggravated murder, attempted murder and lesser, misdemeanor charges.
According to Portland police, Christian has a criminal record including charges of felony robbery, kidnapping and weapons convictions.
The incident occurred on a MAX train Friday night as the men tried to intervene when the suspect allegedly yelled insults which focused at one point on two young women wearing hijabs. One of the men died at the scene, the second later on in hospital and a third man who was stabbed is expected to survive.
Portland police spokesman, Pete Simpson stated the suspect was arrested as he fled and the police are still working on identifying him and the three victims.
Describing how the incident played out, Simpson said “In the midst of his ranting and raving, some people approached him and appeared to try to intervene with his behaviour and some of the people he was yelling at. They were attacked viciously.”
When asked about the nature and content of the ravings, Simpson replied “He was talking about a lot of different things, not just specifically anti-Muslim.” He added that they “would best be characterized as hate speech toward a variety of ethnicities and religions.”
Happening just as Muslims around the world were preparing for the start of the holy month of Ramadan, Simpson also addressed the effects of an incident such as this on the community.
“Our thoughts are with the Muslim community. As something like this happens, this only instills fear in that community. We have already reached out previous to this incident to our Muslim community partners and the different Imams about extra patrol during Ramadan. We want to assure them that will continue.”
Police are asking that the two young women targeted by the slurs to come forward to give their statements to police.
National Executive Director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, Nihad Awad, spoke on behalf of the organization which urged President Trump to make a public statement denouncing what they see as “rising bigotry” against Muslims.
“President Trump must speak out personally against the rising tide of Islamophobia and other forms of bigotry and racism in out nation that he has provoked through his numerous statements, policies and appointments that have negatively impacted minority communities.”