PORTLAND, Ore. -- The victims of a gruesome stabbing on a MAX train in Northeast Portland were identified by police on Saturday.
Two people were killed as a result of the stabbing. They were identified as 53-year-old Ricky John Best, of Happy Valley, and 23-year-old Taliesin Myrddin Namkai Meche, of Southeast Portland.
Another man was stabbed but he is expected to survive. He was identified as 21-year-old Micah David-Cole Fletcher, of Southeast Portland.
Witnesses said the three men tried to calm down the suspect, who was directing hate speech at two young women on the train, one of whom is Muslim. While the three men were intervening, the suspect pulled out a knife and reportedly stabbed the men in the neck.
Background: 2 killed in MAX train stabbing
The mother of Taliesin Myrddin Namkai Meche posted an emotional goodbye to her son Saturday morning.
"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."
Meche was a Reed College graduate. In a statement from the college, one of his professors recalls Meche's curiosity and desire to learn.
"He was thoughtful, humble, smart, inquisitive, and compassionate. He was a wonderful human being. As good as they come. And now he is a hero to me," said economics professor Kambiz GhaneaBassiri.
Mayor Ted Wheeler called all of the victims heroes.
"Two men lost their lives and another was injured for doing the right thing, standing up for people they didn't know against hatred. Their actions were brave and selfless, and should serve as an example and inspiration to us all. They are heroes," Wheeler said in a statement.
A vigil was held at the Hollywood Transit Center on Saturday night.