The mother of Taliesin Myrddin Namkai Meche, one of the good Samaritans stabbed to death on a Portland train, recalls her son as wanting to make the world a better place. Even as a small child, he was unafraid of a challenge.
PORTLAND — Taliesin Myrddin Namkai Meche was on a MAX train Friday afternoon, talking to his aunt on the phone. He chatted about his job, his girlfriend and the new life unfolding after his 2016 graduation from Reed College.
Teresa Van Olphlen says that over the phone, she could hear someone yelling. Another passenger was launching into a tirade against two teenage girls, one wearing a hijab. She urged her nephew not to intervene, but Meche told her the situation was escalating, and he needed to get off the phone.
“He obviously couldn’t just sit there and be OK with what was going on,” Van Olphen told The Seattle Times.
In the moments that followed, Meche, 23, and two other light-rail passengers tried to halt the verbal abuse. The man hurling the insults turned his rage — and a knife — on the good Samaritans.
Meche and Rick Best, a 53-year-old Army veteran and city worker were fatally wounded. Another man was seriously injured — 21-year-old Micah David-Cole Fletcher, a Portland State University student who The Oregonian reported won a poetry competition a few years back for a piece defending Muslims against prejudice.
The bloodshed, which the Portland Police Bureau says was caught on video, has drawn national attention. President Donald Trump on Monday tweeted praise for those who intervened as standing up “to hate and intolerance.”
Attack in Portland
In this city, grief is mixed with anger.
The alleged assailant, Jeremy Joseph Christian, 35, espoused extremist, hate-filled views at an event held this year by a group known as the Patriot Prayer. One of the group’s organizers, Joey Bishop of Vancouver, Wash., said in a Facebook video that Christian was never welcome at that…