Ashland High Graduate Killed In Portland Hate Attack
One of the victims of the hate attack on a train in Portland Friday afternoon was raised in Ashland.
Taliesin Myrddin Namkai-Meche, 23, was one of three bystanders who attempted to intervene when a man began shouting slurs at two young women who appeared to be Muslim. The attacker stabbed the three men, killing two and injuring one, before leaving the train.
In addition to Namkai-Meche, Portland police have identified Ricky John Best, 53, of Happy Valley as having died from his wounds. The surviving victim, Micah David-Cole, 21, of Portland, is being treated for his injuries in a Portland hospital and is expected to recover.
Portland police have arrested 35-year-old Jeremy Joseph Christian of North Portland. Christian was booked on two charges of aggravated murder, attempted murder, two charges of second-degree intimidation and being a felon in possession of a restricted weapon.
According to NPR.org,
The Portland Mercury reports that the suspect was a "known local white supremacist." The alternative weekly published photos and video of Christian at a "March for Free Speech" on April 29, to which he brought a baseball bat. Draped in an American flag, he yelled "I'm a nihilist," and shouted profanity and racial slurs. The Southern Poverty Law Center reviewed Christian's Facebook page, and found numerous posts espousing extremist views. In a post from April 19, Christian praised the Oklahoma City bomber, writing, "May all the Gods Bless Timothy McVeigh a TRUE PATRIOT!!!"
Namkai-Meche’s mother, Asha Deliverance, still lives in Ashland. On a public Facebook page, she posted Saturday morning:
“Taliesin Myrddin Namkai Meche, My dear baby boy passed on yesterday while protecting two young Muslim girls from a racist man on the train in Portland. He was a hero and will remain a hero on the other side of the veil. Shining bright star I love you forever.”
As of Saturday afternoon, the post had gathered 22,000 comments and had been shared more than 72,000 times.
Namkai-Meche has recently graduated from Reed College in Portland with a degree in economics.
There will be a candlelight vigil in Namkai-Meche's memory at 7:00 Saturday evening at the Plaza in downtown Ashland.