The two men killed on Friday while defending two women, one of who was Muslim, against a man spewing hate speech on an Oregon train have been identified by police.
Ricky John Best, 53, and Taliesin Myrddin Namkai Meche, 23, of Portland were both killed in Friday’s attack.
Both men’s throats were cut, according to police. The third victim injured in the attack has been identified as Micah David-Cole Fletcher, 21.
Fletcher was reportedly stabbed in the neck, but survived.
The three men tried to intervene as Jeremy Joseph Christian, 35, reportedly harassed the two women while on the MAX train in Portland.
Witnesses said they heard Christian say, “Get off the bus, and get out of the country because you don’t pay taxes here,” according to KATU-TV.
Christian then allegedly stabbed the three men. Best reportedly died at the scene while Meche died at the hospital.
Meche’s mother, Asha Deliverance, took to Facebook on Saturday to pay tribute to her son’s heroic act.
“Taliesin Myrddin Namkai Meche, My dear baby boy passed on yesterday while protecting two young Muslim girls from a racist man on the train in Portland. He was a hero and will remain a hero on the other side of the veil. Shining bright star I love you forever,” she wrote.
A mother of one of the women who was allegedly harassed on the train, Dyjuana Hudson, posted to Facebook thanking Meche for what he did for her daughter.
“Thank you thank you thank you... You will always be our hero ....I'm soooooo sorry this happened... You didn't even know my girls but you stepped in and saved my babies life... to the family I'm so sorry about your loss and I'm here if you need me.. The girls have come forth,” Hudson wrote.
Hudson’s daughter, Destinee, said Christian approached her and her friend, who was wearing a hijab, and told them “to go back to Saudi Arabia” and “get out of his country.”
He also said the girls should kills themselves, according to reports.
Best, who was an army veteran and father of four, was known as a dedicated dad.
"He was always the first person you would go to for help,” she said. “I’ve talked to most of his coworkers today, and several of them said it’s just like Rick to step in and help somebody out,” Best’s supervisor, Kareen Perkins, told the Oregonian.
Fletcher, who is still in the hospital recovering, penned a poem in the aftermath of the attack.
“I, am alive, I spat in the eye of hate and lived.This is what we must do for one anotherWe must live for one another. We must fight for one Mother. We must die in the name freedom, if we have to. Luckily it’s not my turn today,” he wrote.
Christian is in custody for charges of aggravated murder, attempted murder, intimidation in the second degree and felon in possession of a weapon.