Mom praises men killed defending daughter in Portland attack
- Author: Leroy Wright May 30, 2017,
May 30, 2017, 3:08
Destinee Mangum tearfully thanked the two men who were killed while trying to intervene after a man allegedly directed an anti-Muslim hate speech at her and her friend aboard an OR train on Friday.
Sixteen-year-old Destinee Mangum was with her friend on the MAX train on May 26 when they were racially abused by white supremacist Jeremy Christian. "You can't get at them like that - they're little girls", said one man.
Christian will be arraigned on Tuesday and could face additional charges.
Mangum described the harassment she faced on the train before the stabbings, saying Christian "told us to go back to Saudi Arabia and he told us we shouldn't be here, to get out of his country".
Best lived in Happy Valley and had three teenage sons and a 12-year-old daughter according to David Austin, a spokesperson for City Commissioner Chloe Eudaly.
Kaplan said he remembers the case vividly because Christian was so young, so earnest and had never been in trouble before.
In a statement released Saturday, police say they will "extensively examine" Christian's background, "including the information publicly available about the suspect's extremist ideology" in their investigation.
Court records show Christian served prison time for first-degree robbery and second-degree kidnapping after a crime committed 15 years ago and theft and weapons charges were dismissed in 2010. "I'm just really sorry that their acts of kindness were repaid in such a awful way".
"He was just telling us that we basically weren't anything and that we should kill ourselves", Mangum recalled of the incident. "He's like, 'You want some of me, you're a snitch, come on after me, you want some of this?' and started chasing me", Hall said.
"It's haunting me", she said.
Two men, Ricky John Best, 53, and Taliesin Myrddin Namkai-Meche, 23, intervened on the girls' behalf and were fatally stabbed.
The 16-year-old said they were scared, and chose to move to the back of the train, all while a stranger jumped in to help.
Christian allegedly started a fight with a black woman at the Interstate Rose Quarter Station on Thursday night. He had graduated from Portland's Reed College with a degree in economics previous year and had just begun his career working at an environmental consulting agency. "I would appreciate it if you guys just give us our privacy and time to heal and [to] be together".
Local news organisations reported that he had a history of far-right activity.