Two people were fatally stabbed after trying to intervene when a man was spewing "hate speech" Friday on a Portland, Oregon, train, police said.
The two women left before police arrived on the scene; Simpson said detectives would like to speak with them and other witnesses, though he said the incident was "very scary" and he understood why people would leave.
Two men were killed Friday in Portland when they tried to stop an anti-Muslim rant on the MAX train at the Hollywood Transit Station, the Oregonian reported. The third person was taken to hospital with non-life threatening injuries.
The attack in Portland occurred on Friday as most of the world's 1.6 billion Muslims were getting ready to observe the monthlong fast of Ramadan.
"Two men lost their lives and another was injured for doing the right thing, standing up for people they didn't know against hatred", Mayor Ted Wheelersaid in a statement.
At this time, police aren't sure what prompted their suspect to go on such a rampage. Her daughter is African-American and was with a friend who was wearing a hijab, she said.
Simpson said that one of the passengers who intervened was stabbed and died on the spot while the other died in a hospital.
The suspect, reportedly a known felon and a right-wing extremist, fled the train on foot and was quickly caught.
"The suspect attacked the men, stabbing three, before leaving the train", the police said in a statement. "We do not know if the suspect was drunk, on medication, had mental issues or anything else", Simpson added.
Simpson said that the male suspect was in custody and was receiving medical treatment at a local OR hospital for his injuries.
Police are still working to identify him and the people stabbed, he said.
Video posted online appears to show the suspect taunting police before he was arrested.
Christian's criminal record includes felony robbery, kidnapping and weapon convictions.The identities of the victims have not yet been released. "There's no other word to describe what happened today".
"He was talking about a lot of different things, not just specifically anti-Muslim", Simpson said.
North America's largest Muslim advocacy organization, Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), on Saturday called on President Donald Trump to denounce "rising bigotry" against Muslims.
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