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Suspect accused of stabbing Portland restaurant server indicted on hate crime, murder charge

Colin Smith was standing up for a friend who identified as LGBTQ, a family friend said. He was at a bar when a man harassed them using homophobic slurs, she added.
Credit: KGW
32-year-old Colin Smith was killed in a stabbing on July 2. Friends said he was sticking up for a friend who was being harassed.

PORTLAND, Oregon — The suspect in connection with the fatal stabbing of Portland restaurant server Colin Smith has been indicted on three counts, according to a news release from Multnomah County District Attorney Mike Schmidt's office. 

24-year-old Rahnique U. Jackson of Portland faces one count of second-degree murder, unlawful use of a weapon, and second-degree bias crime, a hate crime under Oregon law.

The stabbing happened in Southeast Portland's Buckman neighborhood around 1:49 a.m. on July 2 in the area of Southeast 12th Avenue and Madison Street. When officers arrived, they found Smith, who had died of stab wounds.

Smith had gotten off work at Ox Restaurant and went to a bar with some friends, according to Paulina Solis, a family friend. She said once at the bar, the group began to be harassed by a man who used homophobic slurs.

Credit: Smith family
Colin Smith was fatally stabbed on Sunday, July 2, 2023 in Portland, Ore. His family provided this photo and said the cat's name was Smokey and meant the world to Colin.

One of the friends is a member of the LGBTQ+ community. Smith decided to stand up for his friend, Solis said.

"I know he was probably just trying to de-escalate and get this person to move on,” Solis said. “And that's when he was killed."

Smith's friends, family and co-workers said he looked after people he cared about.

"He was a protector," said a man who works at Ox Restaurant.

Jackson was arrested Friday by members of the U.S. Marshal's Service in Southeast Portland, according to police. He was transferred over to Portland Police Bureau homicide detectives, interviewed, then booked into the Multnomah County jail.

He had already been arrested twice for strangling someone in 2018 and 2019. The second case was dismissed. 

Jackson is scheduled to be arraigned and enter a plea on July 18.

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