Portland is reeling tonight in the wake of the fatal stabbing of two men who stepped into protect women on a MAX train from an anti-Muslim screed.
As WW reported earlier this evening, the two men were killed in the Hollywood District when they intervened in an anti-Muslim and anti-immigrant rant by a man who directed his rage at two young women of color, one of them wearing a hijab.
One man is in custody. Police are still looking for the two young women who eyewitnesses said were the target of his rant.
Mayor Ted Wheeler left Portland today before the killings, taking the first direct flight from Portland to London. City Commissioner Chloe Eudaly is acting council president, a task that includes making city statements in the wake of tragedies.
Tonight, she released the following message:
The city of Portland has a heavy heart right now, and our thoughts and prayers go out to the families and friends of the deceased and injured.
This is an especially sad and disturbing incident. People lost their lives or were injured because they stood up to hate.
We need to offer our heartfelt support to the two women and others who were targeted. The courage of the people who stood up for them is a reminder that we as a city need to stand together to denounce hate.
Thank you to the courageous witnesses who helped police locate the suspect before more people were hurt; thank you to the first responders and medical personnel who arrived quickly to administer aid; and thank you to the police for apprehending the suspect.
These are troubling times across our city, our country and the world. We cannot let this divide us. We need to unite against all forms of violence and hate. Our differences should be a cause for celebration, not something that foments hate.
I’m asking everyone to reach out and connect with your families, your friends and your neighbors. Let’s all stand together.