U.S. Senate approves resolution honoring MAX attack victims

U.S. Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley praised the Senate’s unanimous passage Thursday of a joint resolution honoring Oregon’s Rick Best, Taliesin Myrddin Namkai-Meche and Micah David-Cole Fletcher, victims of a May 26 attack on a MAX train in Northeast Portland.

Best and Namkai-Meche were fatally stabbed when they clashed with a 35-year-old man who had been shouting at two young women, one African-American and the other a Muslim, on the train. Fletcher was seriously wounded in the attack.

Jeremy J. Christian faces aggravated murder, assault, menacing and attempted aggravated murder charges in connection with the afternoon attack. In court on Wednesday, June 7, Christian again shouted that he was “not guilty,” claiming that he was defending himself when he was confronted by the three men on the crowded train.

Portland police detectives reviewed cell phone videos and TriMet security video of the incident and reported in a probable cause statement that Christian appeared to be drinking sangria wine from a container he was carrying, and shouted several times at the two young women. He also used a knife with a nearly 4-inch blade to stab the three men during a confrontation.

After he was captured by police as he ran from the Hollywood Transit Center in Northeast Portland, Christian said he was “happy” he stabbed the men. “Get stabbed in your neck if you hate free speech,” Christian said while riding in the back of a police car equipped with video cameras. “I hope they all died. I’m going to say that on the stand. I’m a patriot and I hope everyone I stabbed died.”

‘Oregon came together’

Oregon’s entire Congressional delegation supported the resolution honoring victims of the attack.

“These three Oregonians stood up courageously against terrorism — and for core American values of tolerance and freedom,” Wyden said June 8 after passage of S.J. Res. 45. “This resolution properly honors their bravery in confronting hate and commits all of us as Americans to fighting hate, violence and terrorism every chance we get.”

“What happened on that train was a horrific act of hate,” Merkley said. “But in the days that followed, Oregon came together with a message: While there is evil in this world, there is still far more goodness — the same goodness that Rick, and Taliesin, and Micah bravely exhibited on that train. This resolution recognizes that, and I thank my colleagues for joining with me to honor these heroes.”

The four-page resolution was adopted by unanimous consent. It goes to the U.S. House for its consideration. If approved, it would be sent to the president for his signature.