A 35-year-old man was arrested Friday evening after he allegedly killed two people after he had reportedly yelled anti-Muslim slurs on public transit in Portland, Oregon, multiple outlets report.
Lieutenant Chad Gaidos confirmed to PEOPLE that Jeremy J. Christian is in custody for charges of aggravated murder, attempted murder, intimidation in the second degree and felon in possession of a weapon.
Christian had directed slurs at two young women who witnesses described as Muslim, Portland police Sgt. Pete Simpson told CNN.
As two men tried to calm Christian down, the suspect stabbed them and one other man, according to CNN. One man died on the scene and a second victim died at the hospital, according to CNN. The other man is expected to survive, police said to The Oregonian. None of the victims have been publicly identified.
• Want to keep up with the latest crime coverage? Click here to get breaking crime news, ongoing trial coverage and details of intriguing unsolved cases in the True Crime Newsletter.
“In the midst of his ranting and raving, some people approached him and appeared to try to intervene with his behavior and some of the people he was yelling at and they were attacked viciously by the suspect,” Simpson said, according to KOIN 6 News.
Dyjuana Hudson, a mother of one of the women targeted, recounted what her 16-year-old daughter, Destinee, told her hours after police tracked down the suspect.
“He was saying that Muslims should die,” Hudson told The Oregonian. “That they’ve been killing Christians for years.”
Destinee Hudson is black, and her friend, 17, who was wearing a hijab, is Muslim, the mother told The Oregonian.
- Want to keep up with the latest crime coverage? Click here to get breaking crime news, ongoing trial coverage and details of intriguing unsolved cases in the True Crime Newsletter.
The alleged stabbings occurred at the start of Ramadan — beginning on Friday — which is a monthlong Muslim holy period of prayer, fasting and increased attention to charity.