Two people were stabbed to death on a train in the north-western US city of Portland after attempting to stop a man hurling Islamophobic abuse at two female passengers.
Police say the attack happened when a man began shouting abuse at the women, one of whom was wearing a hijab.
“In the midst of his ranting and raving, some people approached him and appeared to try to intervene with his behaviour and some of the people that he was yelling at,” said Sergeant Pete Simpson. “They were attacked viciously.”
One of the victims was pronounced dead at the scene and another died in hospital, he added.
A third victim was taken to hospital but is expected to survive.
Evelin Hernandez, who was also aboard the train, told The Oregonian that the stabbing occurred after a group of men attempted to intervene against the verbal abuse.
The assailant ran off the train but was arrested a short time later at Portland’s Providence Hospital, police said.
Police named the suspect as 35-year-old Jeremy Joseph Christian of North Portland.
The women left the scene before police were able to speak to them, Sgt Simpson said.
“It’s horrific,” he added. “There’s no other word to describe what happened today.”
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