Three men were stabbed while confronting a “ranting and raving” man on a Portland light rail train Friday, leaving two of the men dead and others raising questions about the rise of hate speech in the country. The suspect was reportedly using hate speech, including speech that’s being described as anti-Muslim towards two Muslim women on the train according to NBC News, prompting others on the train to attempt to calm the suspect:
“In the midst of his ranting and raving some people approached him, appeared to try to intervene with his behavior and some of the people that he was yelling at,” Simpson said. “They were attacked viciously by the suspect…
“According to some preliminary witnesses statements, he was kind of spewing hate about a lot of different things,” Simpson said. Those who tried to intervene in the situation tried to de-escalate the encounter, he said.
Pete Simpson, a spokesman for the Portland police, reports that the victims were “attacked viciously by the suspect” with their throats slashed and stabbed according to witness accounts. The third man involved was treated for non-life threatening issues according to Reuters. Council on American-Islamic Relations National Executive Director Nihad Awad responded to Friday’s attack with a statement that addressed the sharp rise in anti-Muslim incidents from 2015-2016, laying some blame on the rhetoric of President Trump:
“President Trump must speak out personally against the rising tide of Islamophobia and other forms of bigotry and racism in our nation that he has provoked through his numerous statements, policies and appointments that have negatively impacted minority communities,”
The suspect was arrested shortly after the incident and his identity will be released after his booking according to NBC News. They also add that investigators are trying to determine if any mental health issues or drugs and alcohol use contributed to the incident.