This Saturday, police identified Ricky John Best, 53, and Taliesin Myrddin Namkai-Meche, 23, as the victims who were killed in the attack carried out by Jeremy Christian on a Portland train. Micah David-Cole Fletcher, 21, was also stabbed in the attack but is expected to survive.
The men were defending two women, one who was reportedly wearing a hijab, who were the targets of Christian’s Islamophobic vitriol, and they are nothing short of heroes.
Namkai-Meche got a bachelors degree in economics from Portland’s Reed College in 2016. He was interning for the Cadmus Group, a consultancy company, at the time of his death.
“We lost him in a senseless act that brought close to home the insidious rift of prejudice and intolerance that is too familiar, too common,” his sister Vajra Alaya-Maitreya told BuzzFeed. “He was resolute in his conduct and respect of all people. In his final act of bravery, he held true to what he believed is the way forward.”
His mother, Asha Deliverance, remembered her son in a Facebook post this Saturday.
“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,” she wrote. “He was a hero and will remain a hero on the other side of the veil. Shining bright star I love you forever.”
Ricky John Best
According to the Oregonian, Best was a father of four and an army veteran who served 23 years as a platoon sergeant for Corps maintenance. He retired in 2012.
In 2013, the Oregonian wrote a profile on his candidacy for Clackamas County commissioner. Speaking of his decision to run for local politics, Best said, “I can’t stand by and do nothing.”
He was traveling home to visit his children when he was killed.
Micah David-Cole Fletcher
Fletcher is still being treated for his injuries and is expected to survive.
“I was shocked it was him, but I wasn’t surprised it was him,” Fletcher’s friend Elie Hoover, 24, told BuzzFeed News, adding that he is “deeply empathetic.
“I can’t see him not standing up,” she said. “Whether its someone cutting in line, or doesn’t tip, or if its something big like someone being overtly racist.”
Fletcher is also reportedly very active in marches and protests for social justice around the Portland area.
[H/T BuzzFeed News] This article has been updated