A teen riding a Portland train with a Muslim friend wearing a hijab publicly thanked the three strangers who defended the two girls from anti-Muslim slurs and were stabbed by the man hurling them.
Two of the men who stepped forward were killed and the third is in the hospital with serious injuries, CNN reported. Ricky John Best, 53, and Taliesin Myrddin Namkai-Meche, 23, died. Micah Fletcher, 21, was injured.
Destinee Mangum, 16, cried on camera as she told CNN affiliate KPTV, "I just want to say thank you to the people who put their life on the line for me. Because they didn’t even know me and they lost their lives because of me and my friend and the way we look."
The men reportedly argued with the suspect, Jeremy Joseph Christian, after he yelled hate speech toward the girls. Mangum is not Muslim but her friend is and was wearing a hijab, CNN reported. Mangum said that Christian "told us to go back to Saudi Arabia" and that they "shouldn’t be here, to get out of his country. He was just telling us that we basically weren’t anything and that we should just kill ourselves."
The girls went away from Christian toward the back of the train, and that’s when the men confronted him and the stabbings occurred.
Outrage over the stabbings has dominated news coverage and social media since the attack on Friday, and online funding pages have been set up for the families of the victims and for medical costs of the third victim still in the hospital, CNN reported.
President Donald Trump tweeted on Monday, "The violent attacks in Portland on Friday are unacceptable. The victims were standing up to hate and intolerance. Our prayers are w/them."
Tensions remained high as this Twitter user reported that any loud talking had passengers on edge.
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