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Oregon Lawmakers Hail Portland Stabbing Victims As Heroes

Rick Best was fatally stabbed on a MAX train Friday after standing up against a man spewing hate speech at a Muslim teen and her friend.
Courtesy of Areana Best
Rick Best was fatally stabbed on a MAX train Friday after standing up against a man spewing hate speech at a Muslim teen and her friend.

Several Oregon lawmakers hailed the victims of Friday's stabbing on a Portland light rail train as "heroes."

Two people died and a third was seriously injured when they intervened to protect two teenage girls from a man making threatening, racist comments.

Democratic Sen. Lew Frederick called the stabbing suspect, Jeremy Christian, a "terrorist."

"There are attempts to whitewash this incident as an anomaly, to depoliticize the situation, saying that the alt-right, the Klan, whoever, those supporting the alt-right and those the alt-right so vigorously supports should not be blamed for the actions of a mentally ill man. Nonsense. Utter nonsense,” Frederick said.

Two lawmakers said the attack hit close to home, as their children routinely use the Northeast Portland Tri-Met line where the attack took place.

Another lawmaker, Rep. Mark Meek of Clackamas County, said he knew one of the men killed in the attack. Meek said he attended church alongside Ricky Best and his family.

Copyright 2017 Northwest News Network

Chris Lehman covers the Oregon state capitol for JPR as part of the Northwest News Network, a group of 12 Northwest public radio organizations which collaborate on regional news coverage. Chris graduated from Temple University with a journalism degree in 1997. He began his career producing arts features for Red River Public Radio in Shreveport, Louisiana and has been a reporter/announcer for NPR station WNIJ in DeKalb, Illinois. Chris has also reported from overseas, filing stories from Iraq, Burkina Faso, El Salvador, Northern Ireland, Zimbabwe and Uganda.
Chris Lehman
Chris Lehman graduated from Temple University with a journalism degree in 1997. He landed his first job less than a month later, producing arts stories for Red River Public Radio in Shreveport, Louisiana. Three years later he headed north to DeKalb, Illinois, where he worked as a reporter and announcer for NPR–affiliate WNIJ–FM. In 2006 he headed west to become the Salem Correspondent for the Northwest News Network.