It was a brisk but clear spring day in late May 2017. Dozens of people boarded a crowded Green Line MAX train in downtown Portland as the commuter line headed east toward Clackamas Town Center.
According to police, after a day of drinking sangria wine, a white man named Jeremy Christian, then 35, started hurling hate speech and “biased language” at two black teenage girls, one of whom is Muslim and was wearing a hijab.
According to witness reports, Christian went on to yell about "decapitating heads." The train operator told passengers on the train several times, “if you don’t knock it off in the first car, I’m calling the cops.”
As the train pulled up to Hollywood Transit Center, passengers, including Micah Fletcher and Taliesin Myrddin Namkai-Meche, urged Christian to stop yelling at the girls.
Witnesses said the two men approached Christian, and according to a psychological evaluation requested by Christian's legal team, an unreleased video of the incident "reflected all three [men] being chest to chest."
According to that same evaluation, Christian then recalled "challenging" Fletcher and Namkai-Meche by asking them repeatedly, "What are you going to do?"
Christian then says he pushed one of the men in the chest and Fletcher told him to get off the MAX, before Fletcher "grabbed him and pushed him down onto a seat multiple times."
That interaction is confirmed through video evidence, according to the evaluation.
Quickly, the situation escalated and documents say within just 11 seconds, Christian took out a knife and stabbed Fletcher, Namkai-Meche and a third passenger, Ricky Best.
Police officers and EMTs quickly arrived at Hollywood Transit Center, finding half a dozen good Samaritans attempting to resuscitate Namkai-Meche and Best.
Namkai-Meche was taken to the hospital, where he later died. Best died at the scene. Fletcher was hospitalized with a large slash across his throat.
Christian ran off the train into a nearby neighborhood and tried to ditch the knife he used in the attack, but he was quickly arrested, according to documents. Inside an officer's car, police say Christian quickly admitted to the stabbings.