Jeremy Joseph Christian, 35, was on a Metropolitan Area Express (MAX) light-rail train in Portland late Friday when he fatally stabbed two people and wounded a third, after they confronted him for “yelling a gamut of anti-Muslim and anti-everything slurs,” according to CNN.
Reports say Christian targeted two young women who witnesses described as Muslim, one of whom was wearing a hijab. As two men tried to calm him down, Christian brandished a knife and stabbed them and one other man.
Along with his long criminal history, other reports are starting to emerge that say Christian had ties to white supremacists in the area. The Portland Mercury reported that Christian was known in the area for being a vocal white supremacist.
Christian is a known right wing extremist and white supremacist. On April 29, Christian showed up to the right-wing “March for Free Speech” on 82nd Avenue in Montavilla with a baseball bat in an attempt to assault left-wing protesters. The bat was quickly confiscated by Portland police officers. He ranted how he was a nihilist. He’d soon yelled racial slurs (“fuck all you n*****s”) and gave the Nazi salute throughout the day. He yelled “Hail Vinland” throughout the day.
His Facebook page shows a litany of rants that hint of anti-Semitism:
The Mercury‘s Doug Brown posted video of Christian roaming around the rally antagonizing people:
In another video, Brown confronts Christian regarding threats he made on Facebook where he said he wanted to kill police officers.
Corey Pein of the Willamette Week also ran into Christian at the rally and corroborated his white supremacist leanings, saying he was a “notorious racist from North Portland who networked with other racists when he wasn’t doing time (and, presumably, when he was).”
When he extended his hand, I noticed the Nordic rune tattoos on his forearm. On his Facebook page, amid rants against organized religion and memes poking fun at Jews sentenced to die in the Nazi concentration camps, were other posts revealing his crazed “Misanthropic Nihilist” philosophy.
Some reports will emphasize Christian’s criminal record and his mental illness, just as early reports stressed the “random” nature of the double murder he is alleged to have committed yesterday, but it would be negligent not to investigate the possibility that Christian committed a premeditated hate crime, and that others may have known of his intention or encouraged him in the act.
The targets of his hate may have been broad—Muslims, Jews, feminists, liberals, police—but there’s no doubt Christian had announced his intention to kill.
According to the Huffington Post, police said they knew who Christian was but “did not see him as a threat to public safety,” adding that he suffered from mental illness.
Featured image via Doug Brown/CNN