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Jim Ryan
Portland

Two people stabbed to death after trying to stop anti-Muslim rant, say US police

Police don’t know if the man has mental health issues or if he was under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time.

TWO PEOPLE DIED yesterday and another was hurt in a stabbing on a Portland light-rail train after a man yelled racial slurs at two young women who appeared to be Muslim, one of whom was wearing a hijab, police said.

Officers arrested a man yesterday afternoon who ran from the train, The Oregonian reported. Police were still working last night to identify the man and the people who were attacked.

Before the stabbing the assailant on the train was ranting on many topics, using “hate speech or biased language,” and then turned his focus on the women, police Sergeant Pete Simpson said.

“In the midst of his ranting and raving, some people approached him and appeared to try to intervene with his behavior and some of the people that he was yelling at,” Simpson told The Oregonian. “They were attacked viciously.”

Fatal Stabbing Portland Jim Ryan / The Oregonian via AP Jim Ryan / The Oregonian via AP / The Oregonian via AP

One person was dead at the scene and another died at a hospital, Simpson said. The third person was taken to a hospital with non-life threatening injuries.

It wasn’t clear why the man was yelling, Simpson said.

“He was talking about a lot of different things, not just specifically anti-Muslim,” Simpson said.

Police don’t know if the man has mental health issues or if he was under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time.

The attack happened on a MAX train as it headed east. A train remained stopped on the tracks at a transit center which was closed while police investigated.

Fatal Stabbing Portland Jim Ryan via AP Jim Ryan via AP

Evelin Hernandez, a 38-year-old resident of Clackamas, Oregon, told the newspaper she was on the train when the man began making racist remarks to the women.

A group of men tried to quiet him and he stabbed them, she said.

Simpson said the women understandably left the scene before police were able to talk with them but that they would like to hear from them to help fill in what happened.

“It’s horrific,” Simpson said. “There’s no other word to describe what happened today.”

Millions of Muslims marked the start of Ramadan yesterday, a time of intense prayer, dawn-to-dusk fasting and nightly feasts.

Read: Katie Hopkins to leave job at London radio station after calling for ‘final solution’ to Manchester attack

Read: Compassion, defiance, gratitude, grief – but no place for hatred in our Manchester

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