The mother of one of the heroes who died defending two teenage Muslim girls yesterday in Portland posted this message on facebook mourning his death:
“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.”
The incident occured yesterday on a Metropolitan Area Express (MAX) light-rail train. A man identified as 35 years old Jeremy Joseph Christian was yelling at two Muslim girls, one of whom had a hijab on, things like “Get off the bus, and get out of the country because you don’t pay taxes here”, “Muslims should die”, “Muslims are criminals”. As he started walking towards the two girls, three men including 23-year-old Taliesin intervened and tried to calm him down. Witnesses say that the attacker pulled a knife out and attacked the three men. He then fled the scene but other passengers chased after him. Portland police arrested him minutes later while trying to escape.
Taliesin was transported to a hospital where he died from his wounds. Another victim of the attack, identified as 53 year-old Ricky John Best, died at the scene while a third victim has non life threathening injuries.
Taliesin graduated last year from Portland’s Reed College and was working at an environmental consulting agency. Shortly before getting stabbed Taliesin was on the phone with his aunt, who told him to videotape the incident so he could send it to police. “I didn’t mean for him to try to be a hero and get himself killed but he was trying to protect those two teenage girls. He had his whole life in front of him.” his aunt said.