‘Choose love’: MAX attack victims remembered 4 years later

Multnomah County

Vigil, march held at Hollywood Transit Center on 4th anniversary

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Four years ago, two passengers on a MAX train were killed and another critically wounded when Jeremy Christian took out a knife and stabbed them during an altercation near the Hollywood Transit Center.

A jury unanimously convicted Christian on all 12 counts in February 2020. Then in June Judge Cheryl Albrecht sentenced the 38-year-old to two consecutive life sentences without the possibility of parole for the murders of Taleisin Namkai-Meche and Ricky Best.

On this anniversary of the MAX attack, people gathered for a vigil and march at the Hollywood Transit Center.

Namkai-Meche’s mother, Asha Deliverance, was one of the people who attended the vigil at the Hollywood Transit Center.

“Every year we bring roses to the TriMet train station where Taliesin passed away and just for the love of showing mother love,” she told KOIN 6 News.

The mother of Taliesin Namkai-Meche at the Hollywood Transit Center 4 years after her son was murdered in the MAX attack, May 26, 2021 (KOIN)

Her son was just 23 when he was killed. Best was 53 and Micah Fletcher was just 21 at the time he was wounded.

“It’s an intense time on this planet and 4 years ago my son passed away due to the type of thing that we are all dealing with all over the world, which is discrimniation and a lot of judgement and I just wanted to address that,” Deliverance said. “I made stickers and I just want to encourage everyone to choose love. That’s how we are going to make it through this. No other way. You have to choose love.”

A group of people marched to remember the MAX attack victims. Others brought flower bouquets to place alongside the roses and stickers of Asha Deliverance.

“Today I brought ‘We Choose Love stickers.’ I just really want to get that message across that we are going to consistently choose love so this kind of environment never happens again on this planet,” she said.

“I wrote a book about his life and his passing and its on the website, WeChoose.love,” Deliverance said. “The miracle in this story is that he came to me in a dream after he died and said that if I brought his ashes to this holy shrine he would disappear into rainbow light and so we brought the ashes and said prayers and a rainbow leaped out of the shrine and there’s photographs in the book so everyone can see that.”

She hopes the book will carry on her son’s message.

“May we just choose love, see through the veils of separation, whatever they may be, so we can let go of judgment, let go of discrimination and just really share hearts.”

MAX Attack victims Ricky Best and Taliesin Namkai-Meche and survivor Micah Fletcher (KOIN)

The events of May 26, 2017

Christian stabbed Taliesin Namkai-Meche and Ricky Best to death and critically wounded Micah Fletcher on a MAX Green Line as it pulled into the Hollywood Transit Center on May 26, 2017. Prosecutors said Namkai-Meche and Fletcher had intervened after hearing Christian’s racist and offensive rantings, which appeared to be directed at two Black teenagers on the train.

Christian’s sentence also includes 20 years for the attempted murder of Micah Fletcher during the MAX attack.

Jeremy Christian pleaded not guilty on 12 charges: two counts of first-degree murder, one count of first-degree attempted murder, one count of first-degree assault, one count of second-degree assault, three counts of second-degree intimidation, two counts of unlawful use of a weapon and two counts of menacing. A jury unanimously found him guilty on all 12 charges.

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