Another person has been injured in the incident
Two people died in a stabbing on a Portland light-rail train after a man shouted racial slurs at two young women who appeared to be Muslim, one of whom was wearing a hijab, police said.
Officers arrested a man who ran from the train, local media reported. Police were still working to identify the man and the people who were attacked.
Before the stabbing the assailant on the train was ranting on many topics, using “hate speech or biased language,” before turning his focus to the women, police Sgt Pete Simpson said.
“In the midst of his ranting and raving, some people approached him and appeared to try to intervene with his behavior and some of the people that he was yelling at,” Simpson told The Oregonian. “They were attacked viciously.”
One person was dead at the scene and another died at a hospital, Simpson said. A third person was taken to a hospital with non-life threatening injuries.
It wasn’t clear why the man was yelling, Simpson said.
“He was talking about a lot of different things, not just specifically anti-Muslim,” Simpson said.
Police have not establshed whether the man suffers with mental health issues or if he was under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time.
The attack happened on a MAX train as it headed east. A train remained stopped on the tracks at a transit center which was closed while police investigated.
Millions of Muslims marked the start of Ramadan Friday, a time of intense prayer, dawn-to-dusk fasting and nightly feasts.