PORTLAND, OR (KOIN) — The man accused of stabbing 3 people, 2 of them fatally, on a Portland MAX train Friday afternoon went on another racist rant on public transportation just the night before, police confirmed.
Jeremy Joseph Christian is accused of stabbing and killing 23-year-old Taliesin Myrddin Namkai Meche and 53-year-old Ricky Best after they stood up for 2 Muslim women who Christian was allegedly yelling racial slurs at.
Another victim, Micah David-Cole Fletcher, survived the incident.
Christian was arrested shortly after the deadly stabbing, but NBC4’s sister station KOIN 6 News learned he had displayed similar violent behaviors just the night before.
A woman who asked to be identified by the name KK said she was riding the MAX Blue Line home from work Thursday night when Christian got on the train at Pioneer Courthouse Square. She said he was talking on his cellphone and was visibly upset.
“He was pretty upset, squinting his eyes, venting to his friend on the phone about some girl that just pepper-sprayed him,” KK said. “He was complaining about the city, complaining about Muslims, Christians, and it just got very violent very quick.”
KK said she had never heard anyone talk like that on a MAX train before. She felt there was “something really wrong” about his behavior, and said she started recording him on her cellphone about 10 minutes into his rant.
“He was threatening to hurt somebody,” she said. “The talking was so violent and everybody was pretty scared… By the time we were at [the Gateway Transit Center], he was talking about wanting to stab somebody and gestured to pull something out of his pocket. Everybody around me got up, I was right behind him.”
KK said she hesitated, but eventually moved to the other side of the train.
“You don’t like it? You got a problem with what I’m saying? F*** all you Christians and Muslims and f****** Jews , f****** die. Burn you at the stake… f****** die.” – Jeremy Christian said on a MAX train the night before.
Even though someone told the driver what was going on, KK said nothing was done to remove Christian from the train. She said she was surprised the driver didn’t even come out when the train was stopped for an extended period of time.
After hearing about the deadly stabbing Friday evening, KK said she had a feeling the man she had captured on her cellphone the night before was involved.
“When I heard about the circumstances around it, that was the first thing that popped into my head, ‘I wonder if it’s the same guy from the night before,’” she said. “I felt that he was definitely looking for a fight of some sort that evening.”
Police confirm Christian is the man in KK’s video from Thursday night. They also confirm Christian was pepper sprayed that night, but didn’t provide further details.