At 4:30 p.m. on May 26, Jeremy Christian, a 35-year-old man from North Portland, was riding on the first car of a MAX train when he yelled what a detective described as racial and religious epithets at two young black women on the train, one of whom is Muslim and was wearing a hijab.
Court documents said during the tirade, Christian drank red Sangria wine from a bladder. According to a witness, he talked about "decapitating heads."
When the train stopped at the Hollywood Transit Center in Northeast Portland, three men stepped in to calm Christian down.
"He was saying something about America, 'This a free country, I can do whatever I want,' and other people said, 'Calm down,'" remembered Arsenia Brittell, who was seated behind the driver of the train.
Christian allegedly slashed the throats of all three men. Rick John Best, 53, died at the scene. Taliesin Myrddin Namkai-Meche, 23, was taken to a hospital, where he died. Micah David-Cole Fletcher, 21, was taken to a hospital with injuries that were not life-threatening. Fletcher was released from the hospital three days later.
Christian ran off the train into a nearby neighborhood, where police arrested him on charges of aggravated murder, attempted aggravated murder, assault, intimidation and unlawful use of a weapon. He was held without bail.
Court documents show Christian confessed to the killings in the back of a police car.
In his first court appearance, Christian yelled "death to the enemies of America" and said, "You call it terrorism, I call it patriotism. You hear me? Die."
He was indicted by a grand jury on June 6. The indictment also included additional counts of intimidation, second-degree assault, unlawful use of a weapon and menacing, reportedly related to an altercation on a MAX train the day before the stabbings.
Christian could face the death penalty for the aggravated murder charges.