The survivor of a stabbing attack in Portland, Oregon, that left two people dead and allegedly involved hate speech told ABC News that it is the “civic duty” and “moral responsibility” of all Portland residents to make sure all who live there feel at home.
On Friday afternoon, 35-year-old suspect Jeremy Joseph Christian allegedly hurled insults at two young women, one of whom was wearing a hijab, while traveling on a commuter train. The attack happened after three men, including 21-year-old Micah Fletcher, intervened, police said.
Fletcher said he had just left class at Portland State University and was on his way to work when he witnessed the incident on the train. He said that he thought he might die that day, but he stood up for something he thought was wrong nonetheless.
“You’ve got to put your life on the line sometimes if you can afford it,” he told ABC News.
Fletcher, who was treated for serious but nonlife-threatening injuries, narrowly avoided a more serious laceration to his neck by “millimeters,” he said.
“Apparently the knife, when the gentleman stabbed me, the hilt, it hit my jawbone and broke it, and I thought it was centimeters but apparently it was millimeters away from my carotid artery,” he said. “It completely severed my internal jugular.”
Friends of Micah Fletcher, who survived knife attack on MAX train Friday , posted this on a gofundme site to raise money for his recovery: pic.twitter.com/FL2trDw0hX
— Maxine Bernstein (@maxoregonian) May 29, 2017
Fletcher called the two men who died — identified by police as Taliesin Myrddin Namkai-Meche, 23, and Ricky John Best, 53 — “true heroes” whom the “entire city of Portland” is in mourning for.
“I think that it is our civic duty to support their families in whatever way we can,” Fletcher said, adding that the men “paid the ultimate price” for trying to do the right thing.
In a previous statement, Fletcher told the city of Portland’s Muslim community that they “are loved.”