PORTLAND, Ore. - It was just a couple of train stops from downtown Portland to the Hollywood Transit Center, but for Rodney Haven, it was the longest MAX ride of his life.
The situation was about 12-13 feet from me,” said Haven, recalling the man he heard yelling racial slurs and claiming free speech, Friday afternoon.
It got louder and louder and a few more people started getting away from there,” he said.
Haven didn't see the two young women— one of them a Muslim—who police said the suspect was targeting. He did, however, see two of the men who stepped in to defend them. Before long, Haven said the suspect, Jeremy Christian, was surrounded.
He was boxed in,” said Haven. “He was trying to get out, this way and that way but he couldn’t, then he pulled out his knife.
Haven said there was a lot of blood as Christian attacked the Good Samaritans. One of the men, 53-year-old Ricky John Best, died on the train. The other man, 23-year-old Taliesan Namkai-Meche, was alive as medics loaded him onto a gurney, but died on the way to the hospital.
Haven said he talked with another passenger who was standing near Namkai-Meche as he was carried off the train, and heard what might have been Namkai-Meche’s last words.
She heard him say, ‘Tell everybody on the MAX that I love them,’” said Haven.
“So you know... that's pretty special.”