Horror on the MAX: How the stabbing attack unfolded

MAX Attack Trial

This is based on court documents released prior to Jeremy Christian's murder trial, which slated to start Jan. 28, 2020

Portland (KOIN) — May 26, 2017 was a beautiful Friday afternoon.

Sixteen-year-old Destinee Mangum would later tell KOIN 6 News she and her 17-year-old friend Walia Mohamed were out for the afternoon and got turned around while trying to get to Clackamas Town Center.

They ended up on the wrong train.

Destinee Mangum_1527050839500.jpg.jpg
Destinee Mangum speaks to KOIN 6 News in the days leading up to the one-year anniversary of the MAX attack

Around 4:15 p.m., the two figured out their mistake, switched to a Green Line train and got headed in the right direction.

A few minutes later, the train pulled into the Rose Quarter Transit Center. Jeremy Christian boarded the same Green Line car in which Mangum and Mohamed were riding. Within minutes, Christian began yelling in the direction of the two girls.

Among other things, Christian is alleged to have told Mangum and Mohamed to “get out of his country,” and told the girls they were “nothing” and that “they should just kill themselves.” 

Fearing for their own safety, Mangum told KOIN 6 News she and Mohamed, who was wearing traditional Muslim clothing, moved toward the back of the train car, away from Christian. Another passenger attempted to calm Christian down but his verbal assault continued and he allegedly shouted, “Muslims should die.”

According to reports, that’s when Taliesin Namkai-Meche raised his voice and told Christian he needed to get off the train.

As the train approached the Hollywood Transit Center, TriMet surveillance video and cell phone video provided to investigators by other MAX passengers shows Christian move toward Namkai-Meche. 

The next few, violent minutes unfolded very quickly. According to KOIN 6 News reporting, witness statements, police reports and court documents, here’s what happened:

Namkai-Meche continued to tell Christian he needed to get off the train. As Christian is approaching him, Namkai-Meche stood up. Christian, who had also been sitting, stood up and approached Namkai-Meche.

Taliesin Myrddin Namkai Meche_465298
Taliesin Namkai-Meche

While Christian was approaching Namkai-Meche, another passenger — Micah Fletcher — came out of his seat and stood next to Namkai-Meche, as Christian can be overheard yelling, “Do something, b—-.”

The affidavit says video shows him shoving Fletcher in the chest. As he continues to yell, the video is said to show Christian pulling a knife out of his pocket and hiding it in his hand.

At that point, Fletcher told Christian to “get off the train” and shoved him backward. That’s when, according to both the video and court documents, Christian shouted “hit me again,” and “touch me again and I am going to kill you.”

Then in one quick, sudden move, Christian allegedly lunged at Fletcher, swung with the knife and slashed Fletcher’s throat.

micah fletcher copy_466057
Micah Fletcher

Immediately after slashing Fletcher’s throat, investigators say Christian turned and shoved his knife into Namkai-Meche’s neck, pulled it out and stabbed him a second time. As Namkai-Meche collapsed into a seat another passenger, Ricky Best, moved toward Christian.

Prosecutors say the video shows Christian shoving Best backward into Namkai-Meche and then stabbing him before stabbing Namkai-Meche a third time.

ricky best_465646
Ricky Best

As the Green Line train pulled into the Hollywood Transit Center, several passengers moved to help all three of the stabbing victims while Christian, according to investigators, brandished his knife in the direction of several other people, grabbed a bag Mohamed had dropped and ran off the train.

As Portland police responded to the scene, several passengers remained in the train car and attempted to help Fletcher, Namkai-Meche and Best. Roughly 10 minutes after the attack started, Ricky Best died on the MAX platform.

Emergency responders were able to get Namkai-Meche and Fletcher to the hospital where Namkai-Meche died a few hours later.

Fletcher survived the brutal attack.

While medical personnel were tending to the victims at the MAX station, Portland police officers began tracking down the attacker. Based on witness statements of which direction he ran, officers followed Christian to a neighborhood just east of Providence Medical Center.

After a short verbal confrontation, officers arrested Christian just before 5 p.m, roughly a half-hour after he had boarded the train at Lloyd Center.

The following Monday, Jeremy Christian was arraigned on two counts of murder and one count of attempted murder.

Learn more about Christian’s criminal history, and learn more about the victims and survivors

Follow KOIN 6 for the latest news and weather

App

Download our FREE news and weather apps for iPhone, iPad and Android. You can also follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, and sign up for our email newsletters.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

KOIN's Cart of the Week

More Cart of the Week

Top Headlines

More News

Trending Stories

Don't Miss

More Don't Miss

Twitter News Widget